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OSHA Rescinds Electronic Recording Requirements for Forms 300 & 301

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule which eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year. These establishments are still required to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).

In a January 24, 2019 press release, OSHA’s Office of Communications states “By preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers’ injuries and body parts affected, OSHA is avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This rule will better protect personally identifiable information or data that could be re-identified with a particular worker by removing the requirement for covered employers to submit their information from Forms 300 and 301. The final rule does not alter an employer’s duty to maintain OSHA Forms 300 and 301 on-site, and OSHA will continue to obtain these forms as needed through inspections and enforcement actions.”

The new rule also requires covered employers to electronically submit their Employer Identification Number with their information from Form 300A in order to make the data more useful for OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and to reduce duplicative reporting burdens on employers in the future.

OSHA began collecting information from OSHA Form 300A for 2018 on January 2, 2019. The deadline for covered employers to complete electronic submissions is March 2, 2019. OSHA may issue citations to those employers who are found to have failed to electronically file the required information. The maximum penalty for other-than-serious violations has recently been increased to as high as $13,260 per violation.

This final rule becomes effective on February 25, 2019. If you have questions about OSHA electronic recording requirements, please contact Carl Habekost.

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