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Alerts

January 2020

Your OSHA Reporting Requirements May Have Changed, Are You Ready for the March Reporting Deadline?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that in fiscal year 2019 it conducted 33,401 inspections—more inspections than the previous three years—addressing violations related to trenching, falls, chemical exposure, silica and other hazards.

However, while inspections are increasing, in 2019 OSHA reduced some of the electronic reporting requirements that were initially implemented by the Obama administration in 2016. With OSHA’s March 2, 2020 deadline for employers to electronically file their annual summary of all work-related injuries and illnesses quickly approaching, employers should be mindful that the 2019 rule changes have reduced the electronic reporting requirements for certain establishments.

Typically, all work establishments are required to maintain: 1) an annual log of all work-related injuries and illnesses (the OSHA Form 300); 2) an annual summary of work-related injuries (the OSHA 300A Form); and 3) incident reports for specific work-related injuries and illnesses (the OSHA 301 Form). Prior to the 2019 rule changes, employers with 250 or more employees were required to electronically submit all three forms directly to OSHA. Establishments with 20 to 249 employees were required to submit only the OSHA 300A Form, and only if they were in certain industries designated by OSHA’s regulations. A complete list of the industries covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping rules can be found on OSHA’s website.

The 2019 rule changes reduce those requirements so that employers with 250 or more employees at a particular establishment are no longer required to electronically submit their OSHA 300 and OSHA 301 Forms directly to OSHA. Establishments with 250 or more employees still need to electronically file their annual OSHA 300A Form before March 2, 2020. Establishments with between 20 and 249 employees are also still required to electronically file their OSHA 300A Form by March 2, 2020, if they fall into one of the industries designated by OSHA’s regulations. Additionally, all employers must continue to report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.

Over reporting work place accidents is a common mistake among employers and it can lead to unnecessary, costly, and burdensome OSHA inspections. So, it is important to be aware of your reporting requirements in this ever changing web of OSHA regulations.

A key takeaway from this alert is that you should know your OSHA reporting requirements and comply with them. If you are unsure of your reporting obligations, you should ask a competent OSHA attorney or specialist for help. Properly identifying your OSHA reporting requirements can be difficult, but it is worth your time to make sure that you are only reporting accidents that need to be reported because you certainly do not want OSHA knocking on your door in 2020 because you unnecessarily filed your OSHA forms electronically like you used to back in 2016.

For more information, please contact your CSG attorney or the author listed below.