In 2017, more organizations must gather more data and provide more reporting of accident and illness incidents to the U.S. Department of Labor agency. The so-called “new rule” from OSHA will turn a molehill into a mountain as the number of those employers who will be expected to report this data is set to quadruple. Currently about 35,000 large employers submit data annually to OSHA and that number is expected to jump to 130,000. Approximately 150,000 smaller employers who currently submit summary data now includes 500,000 organizations.
Other significant requirements of the new rule include:
- Directing employers to conduct refresher training on recordkeeping requirements.
- The auditing of injury and illness recordkeeping forms.
- Providing training on new recordkeeping requirements.
- Evaluating and updating policies for:
- Informing employees that they have the right to report injuries and illnesses free from retaliation.
- Evaluating reporting deadlines and associated deadlines.
- Evaluating drug-testing policies to, among other things, ensure testing isn’t used as punishment for reporting an injury, while maintaining compliance with workmen’s compensation and other laws
- Evaluating safety incentive programs and compensation to determine whether these are fair and appropriate.
- Considering increased the use of random drug tests – the new rule permits employers to conduct random drug tests.
- Employers must post the latest version of OSHA’s rights poster on their premises and/or inform employees of their right to report injuries without retaliation and how they should report these workplace injuries and illness.
A discussion of OSHA’s new rule and its implications happened during a webinar earlier this year, hosted by EHSQ Community. The discussion was led by member Eric J. Conn, chair of the OSHA practice group. A complete report that more fully describes the new rule elements and what these mean for employers can be found here.