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    May 16, 2018

    OSHA Changes Electronic Reporting Requirements

    OSHA recently announced that it will be requiring employers from seven additional states to comply with the new rule on electronic reporting. The rule takes effect on July 1, 2018. Until the announcement, the seven states in question were not required to comply by this date.

    The rule originally stated that only employers who fell under federal OSHA jurisdiction, and those in State Plans who have already adopted the new rule, must comply by July 1st. Eventually, all states with their own State Plan must also adopt the new rule.

    But employers in these states thought they had more time before they were required to comply.

    OSHA officials state that their recent announcement pertaining to these seven additional states was to clarify an error regarding who must implement the new rule and when.

    OSHA states in the press release, that “Section 18(c)(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule.”

    California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are included in this OSHA announcement. 

    Washington and Wyoming are both pushing back and stating that they have more time to implement the new rule.

    The rule requires employers to submit their injury and illness data into the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) system over the internet. 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.

    For more information on the specific requirements of the New Rule, visit our recent blog post, “OSHA Form 300A and Electronic Reporting Update” from February 2018.

    OSHA plans to meet internally with these states to address the disagreement and concerns. And in fact, OSHA admits that it ultimately can’t issue fines or citations for non-compliance in those seven states.

    Although they are pushing back on the July 1 deadline, Washington expects to adopt the electronic reporting requirement later this year.

    Wyoming is pushing back too, though they are optimistic that their department could adopt its own electronic reporting requirement as soon as June 19th.

    So far, the new rule has been a less-than-smooth rollout. They effective date has been pushed back several times already. Although, that isn’t uncommon for any new regulation and implementation.

    But OSHA remains hopeful that employers will reach compliance with the new requirement as the updated deadlines continue to approach.

    Regulations aside, incident reporting is as crucial component to any company’s safety program. What methods do you use for reporting incidents at your workplace?

    Further reading: How Effective Are Your Incident Reporting Methods?