OSHA reporting website has yet to go live
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The deadline for many US employers to report workplace injury records under a new electronic recordkeeping rule is upon us, but there’s one big hitch. The website that they’re required to use to submit information doesn’t yet exist.
OSHA has yet to post the online submission form that’s central to the new Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries. The rule, put in place in May 2016, requires many employers to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data to OSHA. While there is legal action pending against the new regulation, a federal judge in Texas said last month that he won’t rule on the case until after the July 1 deadline for injury reporting submissions.
Employers are currently on the hook to comply with the rule before the deadline, because the same jurist, Judge Sam Lindsay of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, previously ruled against a preliminary injunction to stop provisions of the rule from taking effect during the legal challenge.
OSHA offers forms for recordkeeping on its website, but the page that the agency promised to post so that employers can upload their records wasn’t available yet (as of this magazine’s press date). The main webpage pertaining to recordkeeping states that OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs. Updates will be posted on www.osha.gov/recordkeeping when they are available.
Employers required to submit injury reports electronically under the new rule include those with more than 250 employees that are required to keep records of workplace injuries, and those with between 20 and 249 employees that are in certain high-risk industries, including construction and manufacturing.
The rule does not require employers to keep records they were not previously required to maintain, but changes the way the Department of Labor receives and publicizes the information. OSHA says the information collected will be made public, but also holds that no information made public will include personally identifiable information about individuals injured on the job.
According to Judge Lindsay’s April ruling, the Plaintiffs in the case have until July 5 to submit a proposed summary judgment briefing, and attorneys for the Labor Department have until the same date to respond to motions to intervene.