2017 OSHA Final Rule for Digital Reporting – New Regulations

“Our new rule will ‘nudge’ employers to prevent work injuries to show investors, job seekers, customers and the public they operate safe and well-managed facilities. Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target compliance assistance and enforcement resources, and enable ‘big data’ researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer.”

-Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health

The New OSHA Digital Reporting Rule

 The new OSHA rule taking effect Jan 1, 2017, requires electronic submittal of injury and illness data that employers are already compiling and recording.  This data will enable OSHA to more effectively apply its resources for enforcement and compliance.  Data varies depending on the size of company and industry type, but the objective is to improve workplace safety while providing valuable information about employers to internal and external stakeholders and the public.

OSHA plans to facilitate electronic submittal via a secure website offering three options which is scheduled to go live in February 2017:

1)  Manually entering data into a web form

2)  Uploading a CSV file

3)  Transmitting data via an API (application programming interface) for those users that are currently using an automated system

What All Employers Should Know

Employers with 250 or more employees:  You’ll need to submit forms 300A, 300 and 301 electronically which will be due July 1, 2018 for the year 2017.  If you are not currently using an automated system, it is time to begin using an EHS software product, such as Ex3, for electronic recordkeeping and the ability to interface directly with OSHA.

Employers with 20 – 249 employees: Depending on your industry type, you may be able to continue using your spreadsheets.  Check industry type for your compliance requirements.

You can read the Final Rule to get up to speed and avoid surprises.

Anti-retaliation Protections

Employers are also required to inform employees of their right to report any and all work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.  Although this provision became effective in August 2016, OSHA began enforcing it in December 2016.

This also solidifies the case for providing your employees with a user-friendly EHS system that is comprehensive and well-integrated as having a slow and complicated process can be considered as discouraging your employees from reporting workplace injuries.

Whatever you do, Ex3 can help you improve:

Management of occupational related injury and Illness cases (OSHA recordkeeping).

Identification and mitigation of hazards and risks

Management of close calls, near misses and significant incidents.

Corporate wellness and medical monitoring programs. 

Training, education and awareness.

Corporate social responsibility and management of environment issues including global carbon footprint tracking and calculations.

Management of water and air emissions. Using safer materials.

About us: Efficient Enterprise Engineering, Inc. (Ex3) is a leading global provider of software systems for Environment, Health, Safety, Security and Productivity and a full service software and IT consulting firm focused on providing solutions and improved processes. We help our clients operate with higher levels of efficiency, productivity and profitability. Ex3 is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona USA and has office locations across the continental US and abroad. Ex3 serves clients across the North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Author: Nathan Giles

Nathan Giles is a senior management consultant with over 30 years experience helping C level leadership improve organizational performance. He has completed projects in Healthcare, Education, Olympic and Professional Sports, Transportation (Automotive and Aviation), Science (Research and Pharmaceutical) and Business sectors and worked with NASA, the US Department of Defense, US Department of Energy, Intel, Textron, Johnson and Johnson, US Olympics National Governing bodies, Pepsi, Gatorade Sport Science Institute and may more. Mr. Giles serves as the President and CEO of Ex3.

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