On January 1st, 2017, OSHA put a new health and safety rule into effect. The new rule requires employers to submit their injury and illness data into an electronic reporting system. The record-keeping rule is formally known as The Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.
Information must now be entered into the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The ITA accepts submissions through 1) an online web form, 2) an uploaded CSV file, or 3) automatic transfer from recordkeeping software.
All covered establishments must submit their records from the 2016 OSHA 300A Form by December 15th, 2017. The previous deadline was set for December 1st.
Covered establishments include:
- Those with 250 or more employees
- Those with 20-249 employees in “high hazard” industries.
Some states with OSHA-Approved state plans have not yet adopted this new rule. They are therefore not yet required to comply with this new rule. States were originally given an additional 6 months to prepare.
According to an article in The National Law Review, those who have not yet adopted the new rule include:
- South Carolina
The purpose of the rule is to enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance resources more efficiently. With new, detailed data, OSHA can provide establishments with information on how to improve their safety standards.
The agency will be better able to identify, target, and remove health and safety hazards. It will also allow OSHA to conduct more in-depth evaluations of the effectiveness of government-lead injury prevention programs.
In addition, some of the data will be posted on the OSHA website and made available to the public. The idea is to encourage employers review incidents in an effort to improve the safety of their own workplaces. Public disclosure would also provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, and others.
The rule was proposed back in 2013. The agency held public meetings throughout 2014 to review and amend the original proposal. After a period of consideration for public comments, the new rule was finalized on January 1st of 2016.
Employers have received ample warning that this new rule would soon go into effect. But there were delays on OSHA’s end that have not allowed employers sufficient time to prepare.
The new reporting system was launched on August 1st of 2017. Users soon discovered problems with the electronic portal, and it had to be taken down within the first two weeks. The system indicated a potential compromise of user information.
The reason for the December 15th extension is to give employers more time to familiarize themselves with the ITA system.
Employers can access the electronic filing system through the new ITA launch page. Only information from 2016 can be entered at this time. Covered establishments will be required to submit information from 2017 by July 1st, 2018. Beginning in January of 2019, annual information must be submitted by March 2nd of each year.
Employers who fall into the covered establishments categories must prepare for this new rule. For further clarification, download OSHA’s Fact Sheet on The Final Rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses.