On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the agency’s final electronic rule, titled “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.”

The rule may impact your organization in a variety of ways, including:

  1.  Depending on the size of your organization, you may be required to submit reports electronically
  2.  An organization’s internal injury reporting procedure may have to be modified
  3.  Organizations – not just those in California – may have to abandon post-accident drug/alcohol testing policies

Electronic Reporting

Appropriately named, the electronic rule requires employers – based on size and industry – to electronically submit accident and injury reporting forms to OSHA.

  • Employers with 250 or more employees (including part-time, seasonal or temporary workers) in each establishment must electronically submit their 300, 300A and 301 forms to OSHA on an annual basis
  • Employers with more than 20 but less than 250 employees in certain identified industries must electronically submit their 300A form on an annual basis
  • Employers who receive notification from OSHA must electronically submit their 300, 300A and 301 forms to OSHA

OSHA will then post the data from employer submissions on a publicly accessible Web site.

Internal Reporting Procedures

Employers now must develop employee injury and illness reporting requirements that meet specific criteria.

Employers must inform employees of the following:

  • Procedures for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately
  • A procedure is not reasonable if it would deter or discourage employees from reporting injuries or illnesses
  • Employees have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Employers are prohibited from discharging or in any manner discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses

Additionally, employers must inform employees that they have a right to report a work-related injury and terminating or otherwise discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses is strictly prohibited.

No Post-Accident Testing

In California, an employer must have “reasonable suspicion” before requiring an employee to submit to a drug or alcohol test. CoreHR Team has long advised our clients that the mere occurrence of an accident is NOT reasonable suspicion and, therefore, per se post accident testing policies violate the law.  Now, OSHA has expressly stated that a post-accident drug policy equates to a policy that will “deter or discourage” employees from reporting an injury, a practice prohibited under the new rule.

When does the new rule take effect?

There are two important effective dates:

  1. August 10, 2016:  Employers must abide by the new internal reporting procedures and policy.
  2. January 1, 2017: Electronic reporting procedures take effect.

Questions?  Call CoreHR Team at 559-825-6629