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OSHA workplace injury/illness notifications and electronic reporting in effect Dec. 1/Jan. 1

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OSHA enforcement of a new workplace injury and illness reporting regulation started Dec. 1. Before then, employers should have:

  • Made sure all employees are aware of their right to report workplace injury and illness (posting the OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law worker rights poster from April 2015 or later may meet this requirement).
  • Provided information about the procedure to do so.

Additionally, employers are prohibited from retaliation against any employee who makes such a report. The regulation went into effect in August but OSHA delayed enforcement until Dec. 1 to allow employers time to understand and implement it. You may need to review your post-accident drug-testing policies and consider whether your safety program aligns with the new anti-retaliation provisions.

Another important part of this regulation is that starting Jan. 1, 2017, employers of 250 or more will be required to report workplace injuries and illness electronically on top of the current OSHA documentation required. Employers of 20-249 in what OSHA considers “high-hazard” industries will also report electronically, but with less information. Some of this data will be posted publicly on OSHA’s website, in what OSHA calls a “nudge” to encourage employers to create safer workplaces. Since the data will be publicly available, job candidates could review it and choose workplaces with safer records. Reporting requirements will be phased in. In 2017, reporting will be due by July 1.

OSHA has created a list of OSHA-identified “high-hazard” industries required to report for 20-249 employees. It includes agriculture, utilities, construction, manufacturing and wholesale, most transportation, warehousing and storage, most health care, and commercial and industrial machinery repair and maintenance. OSHA has also created a fact sheet covering the new regulation.

Take Action

Before the Jan. 1 deadline, if employers of any size have questions about this regulation, including how to develop and implement a workplace injury/illness reporting procedure or how to communicate the procedure to employees effectively, please contact your AGH professional, or AGH senior organizational development consultant Carrie Cox using the information below.

Carrie Cox, PHR, SHRM-CP

Senior Organizational Development Consultant,
Organizational Development & Family Business Services
Carrie has experience in a variety of human resource functions, including labor laws, compensation structures, employee classification, benefits administration, performance management, and human resource best practices. She has served clients in a number of industries including manufacturing, construction, banking, and not-for-profits. Carrie is a member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Professionals (SHRM) and serves on the Wichita chapter board of directors.

She is a certified practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and the Hay Group’s Emotional and Social Competency Inventory. Her additional certifications include Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute and SHRM-CP designated by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Carrie Cox photo
Carrie Cox, PHR, SHRM-CP
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