“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.
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:
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.