Hazard Alert! Don’t Ignore OSHA’s Updated Electronic Submission Requirements for Employers

By: Nelva J. Smith, Brian L. Hurt

Published: July 27, 2023

Effective January 1, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new record-keeping rule will now require employers with 100 or more workers in OSHA’s “highest hazard” industries to electronically file additional injury and illness documents. These industries include manufacturing, retail, health care, performing arts, amusement parks, transportation, and delivery services.

Previously, establishments with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-hazard industries were required to electronically submit information from their Form 300A annual summary to OSHA once a year. In addition, all establishments with 250 or more employees were also required to electronically submit information from their Form 300A annual summary to OSHA once a year. The Form 300A is the annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses that must be signed by a corporate representative and posted at the work site from February 1 to April 30 of the following year. Form 300 is the log of work-related injuries and illnesses that provides more detailed information about each injury and/or illness that occurred at an establishment each year, including employee names, job titles, and injuries/illnesses and whether the injuries/illnesses resulted in lost time or restricted duty. Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report, which provides even more detail about specific injuries and/or illnesses reported on Form 300, including employee addresses, dates of birth, and treatment information.

Now, after January 1, 2024, OSHA’s new rule requires employers with 100 or more workers in the listed industries to annually provide information from their Forms 300 and 301 in addition to the information from Form 300A. OSHA has stated that employers do not need to provide employee names, addresses, or health care providers. However, OSHA has not yet specified how the electronic submission will be set up to address potential employee privacy concerns.

This new rule, which was first brought by the Obama administration in 2016 but later rolled back by the Trump administration in 2019, reinstates requirements to submit data electronically to OSHA. Also, in 2016, several industry groups challenged the rule in federal courts; however, it is not clear whether this rule will be challenged again.

Employers with the required number of employees in each establishment (and certain industries) should have already been submitting their Form 300A by March 2 of every year. Failure to submit the form is tracked by OSHA every time an inspection is opened at an establishment, and if the employer does not retain proof of submission, this can result in a record-keeping citation. Now OSHA’s injury tracking application (ITA) will begin accepting the 2023 data on January 2, 2024, and it is due by March 2, 2024. Employers should be reviewing their records now to ensure they are accurate and determine whether this new rule applies to their establishments. This includes not only federal OSHA but all state plans as well.

For any questions regarding this new rule and how it may apply to your business, please contact the authors or a member of the Steptoe & Johnson Workplace Safety/OSHA Team.

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