Skip to content
    January 17, 2023

    Proposed Recordkeeping Changes: What You Need to Know

    Earlier last year, OSHA proposed several regulatory changes to 29 CFR 1904, the regulations governing the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses which, if approved, will change who must electronically submit data to OSHA and what data they must submit. 

    These proposed changes have quickly made their way through the rulemaking process and barring any major setbacks are expected to be approved and finalized sometime early this year. If you’re unsure of what’s changing and how it might affect your organization, here’s what you need to know.

    Current Requirements

    To understand OSHA’s proposed changes, it’s important to be completely clear on the current requirements for electronically submitting 300A data to OSHA. Per 29 CFR 1904.41(a), OSHA requires electronic submission of annual 300A data for:

    • Companies with establishments having 250+ employees that are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, regardless of the industry
    • Companies with establishments having >20 employees that are classified in certain high-hazard industries

    There are a few additional pieces of information to be aware of when determining applicability with this part of the recordkeeping standards such as:

    • Participation in the electronic 300A submission process is determined by the size of the establishment (a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed), not the size of the company or firm
    • Peak employment during the calendar year should be used when determining whether an establishment has met the thresholds for employee counts

    Now that we’ve reviewed what’s currently required, let’s jump into OSHA’s proposed changes.

    Proposed Changes

    It’s important to understand that as of the date of this article, OSHA has not yet published a final rule which means there could be additional changes between now and then. However, it’s reasonably expected that when a final rule is published, it will include all of the proposed changes mentioned below.

    Here’s what OSHA is proposing:

    1. Many of the establishments with 250+ employees who are not included in OSHA’s list of designated high-hazard industries would no longer be required to electronically submit 300A data to OSHA.
      1. These establishments will still be required to collect and keep this information on file for 5 years per the federal requirement
      2. Before you get too excited, OSHA has pared this list down to only include the industries included in docket exhibit OSHA-2021-0006-0003
    2. Establishments with >20 employees who are included in OSHA’s list of designated industries will still be required to electronically submit 300A data to OSHA every year
    3. Every 300A submission will be required to include the establishment name, EIN and the company name. (Company name will no longer be optional.)

    4A. The industry classification system will be updated to include a new tier for “highest hazard industries” that will change how certain establishments are classified

    4B. Those establishments finding themselves included in this new industry tier that have >100 employees will be required to electronically submit information from their 300A forms—but also their 300 logs and 301 forms

    Along with these proposed changes, there is one more change we want to mention but we’re going to do that in the next section because it deals with how OSHA intends to keep certain data private.

    Privacy Concerns

    One of the reasons OSHA is proposing the collection of data from 300 logs and 301 forms from specific establishments identified within the proposed “highest hazard industry” tier is because they intend to make some of it public via their public website. OSHA believes that providing a company’s case-specific injury and illness data will allow both potential customers and potential employees to review this data before deciding to do business with and/or pursue employment with a company. Publishing this data also adds a level of transparency by allowing the general public to see the number and types of injuries and illnesses taking place at the companies located within their communities, which OSHA hopes will force companies to place more focus on workplace safety.

    All of that said, because of the type of information collected from 300 logs and 301 forms there are certain privacy issues that OSHA must contend with. To ensure certain information won’t be published, OSHA’s proposal is to simply omit specific data points from the information they will collect under the premise that they can’t publish information they don’t have. More specifically, OSHA intends to omit the following data points from the electronic submission process:  

    • Employee Names
    • Employee Addresses
    • Names of treating physicians/health care providers
    • Names and addresses of any non-workplace treating facilities

    However, even though OSHA’s proposal eliminates the requirement for employers to submit this data electronically, it does NOT eliminate or change the requirements for employers to still collect this data. It’s expected that OSHA will simply update their electronic submission process to eliminate these four data points while making no changes to the 300 suite of forms.

    Software Updates

    For those customers currently using our Incident Management module, we want you to feel confident knowing that our Product Development Team has been very busy behind the scenes working on updates to ensure our reporting outputs for this module are compliant with OSHA’s proposed changes.

    Stay tuned for more information!

    Tag(s): OSHA

    Katy Lyden

    Katy Lyden is a EHS Domain Analyst and Subject Matter Expert for StarTex Software, the company behind EHS Insight. Prior to her current role, Katy spent 17 years successfully leading EHS programs for several large companies within the manufacturing industry. Katy is a Navy veteran, Licensed Emergency Medical...