OSHA Extends Injury & Illness Comment Period Again

Comments on the proposed rule are now due by Oct. 14.

OSHA has again extended the comment period, this time to Oct. 14, on its proposed rule on tracking and reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses. Originally published on Nov. 8, 2013, the rule would amend OSHA's recordkeeping regulation by adding requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers already are required to keep.

The original comment deadline was Feb. 6, 2014.

The delay announcement notes that during OSHA's public meeting about the proposal, "many participants expressed concern that the proposal may create motivation for employers to under-record injuries and illnesses, since each covered establishment’s injury and illness data would become publicly available on OSHA’s website. Participants also expressed concern that the proposal would lead to an increase in the number of employers who adopt practices that discourage employees from reporting recordable injuries and illnesses. OSHA is concerned that the accuracy of the data collected under the new proposal could be compromised if employers adopt these practices."

"OSHA wants to make sure that employers, employees and the public have access to the most accurate data about injuries and illnesses in their workplaces so that they can take the most appropriate steps to protect worker safety and health," said Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels.

This time, OSHA wants comments on whether to amend the proposed rule to: 1) require that employers inform their employees of their right to report injuries and illnesses; 2) more clearly communicate the requirement that any injury and illness reporting requirements established by the employer be reasonable and not unduly burdensome; and 3) provide OSHA an additional remedy to prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses.

To comment or read the proposed rule, visit this website.

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