Recordkeeping, Reporting

OSHA Proposes Reinstating Electronic Filing Rules

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to reinstate requirements for electronic submission of injury and illness logs and incident reports. The proposed rule is scheduled to appear in the March 30 Federal Register (FR).

The change would require businesses with 100 or more employees in specified industries to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300, 301, and 300A once a year. Those with 20 or more employees still would electronically file their OSHA Form 300A, the annual “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.”

OSHA Form 300 is the “Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” all employers with 10 or more employees must maintain, and OSHA Form 301 is the supplementary “Injury and Illness Incident Report” employers must complete, providing additional details about each case recorded on their OSHA Form 300.

The agency also intends to post the collected case-specific and establishment-specific injury and illness information online. The data posted online would be scrubbed of information that might personally identify employees.

The proposal would reinstate reporting requirements established during the Obama administration but removed during the Trump administration.

On May 12, 2016, OSHA set up requirements for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 to OSHA or OSHA’s designee once a year (81 FR 29624). Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in certain designated industries were required to electronically submit information from their OSHA annual summary (Form 300A) once a year.

Filing deadlines were repeatedly extended, and the agency never received the required data submissions from Forms 300 and 301 under the 2016 rule. On January 25, 2019, the agency removed the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301.

OSHA intends to post OSHA Form 300 (“Log”) data on its website. The agency currently collects information from employer logs during inspections and retains that information in its enforcement files, and it generally releases copies of the 300 Logs maintained in its inspection files in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests after redacting employee names.

The agency also plans to post case information from Form 301 (“Incident Report”). OSHA does not currently release employee personal information (Fields 1 through 9 of the form) in response to FOIA requests and would not post such information on its website.

OSHA stated that information collected under the proposal would enable employers, as well as employees, employee representatives, the government, and researchers, to identify and mitigate workplace hazards, preventing worker injuries and illnesses.

OSHA acknowledged that its compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) can inspect only a small portion of the nation’s workplaces each year, and it would take decades to inspect each covered workplace in the nation even once.

An electronic filing requirement would expand OSHA’s access to case-specific and establishment-specific injury and illness data.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also publicly releases injury and illness information in its annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII). Data reported in the SOII would differ from the Form 300 and 301 data that OSHA proposes posting on its website. The SOII encompasses industries not routinely required to keep OSHA injury and illness logs. 

Comments will be due to OSHA by May 31.