Ask the Expert, Q&A, Recordkeeping, Regulatory Developments

Q&A: Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

Recently, we received the following question from a subscriber about OSHA’s new Electronic Recordkeeping rule:

What is the new OSHA tracking rule all about, and when will it go into effect?

This was our response:

These are the basics of OSHA’s final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, otherwise known as the electronic recordkeeping rule.

Every workplace with 250 or more employees will be required to electronically submit OSHA 300 Logs, 301 Forms, and 300A summaries on an annual basis. Workplaces with 20-249 employees in industries that OSHA has deemed hazardous and listed in the rule must submit OSHA 300A summaries to OSHA electronically on an annual basis as well.

The new requirements will be phased in, requiring employers to electronically submit their 300A summaries on July 1, 2017 and their 300 Logs, 301 Forms and 300A summaries on July 1, 2018.

All this information will be on a searchable database available to the general public.

Also, effective August 10, 2016, employers must involve their employees in the injury and illness recordkeeping process by informing them of how to report a work-related injury or illness within the establishment and the procedure used by the employer to report such incidents to OSHA. Employers must establish “a reasonable procedure” for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately—that is, the procedure cannot have the effect of discouraging employees from reporting a workplace injury or illness. Accordingly, an employer must also inform employees that:

  • They have a right to report work-related injuries and illnesses,
  • They will not be discharged or in any manner discriminated against for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses, and
  • The employer is legally prohibited from discharging employees or discriminating against them in any way for reporting a work-related injury or illness.

According to Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, the rule is meant to “nudge” employers to prevent work injuries and to show investors, job seekers, and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities.

This OSHA factsheet provides more information.