In an effort to improve workplace safety and protect employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule concerning the reporting of injury and illness in the workplace. Under the new rule, employers are now required to submit work-related injury and illness information to OSHA electronically, as well as inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation. The new rule not only protects employees who report injury or illness, but it clarifies their right to access workplace injury data.
Although employers have been required to complete and retain injury and illness records for some time, this data has not been made publicly available until now. OSHA expects that collecting and posting work-related injury and illness data on a publicly accessible website will not only motivate employers to increase their workplace safety efforts but will assist researchers in studying injury causation and industry safety improvement efforts.
Under the new electronic reporting requirements, all establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the record-keeping regulation will be required to submit detailed information about work-related injury and illness. Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in designated hazardous industries must submit summaries of injury and illness data but will not be required to produce the detail that larger organizations must provide.
The anti-retaliation provision applies to all employers and prohibits them from retaliating against employees who report work-related injury or illness, and it requires them to have reasonable procedures in place to promote, not discourage, the reporting of work-related injury and illness. This provision adds to other employee rights and protections provided under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The new requirements become effective August 10, 2016, with data submission requirements taking effect in January 2017.
Wanta Thome PLC works to protect the rights of employees who have suffered retaliation because of work-related injury or illness. For more information about your rights, please call 612-252-3570. Our Minneapolis, Minnesota attorneys are prepared to protect your rights relating to workplace safety, harassment and retaliation, and other employment-related legal claims.