In a May post we noted that OSHA had moved closer to publishing a proposed rule revising the Obama-era regulation,  Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses by submitting the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Order 12866.  This review was completed yesterday, July 23, and now signals that OSHA has jumped the final hurdle before it can publish a new proposed rule.  In the Spring Regulatory Agenda, OSHA identified July as its target date for issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  OMB’s completition of its review suggests that OSHA will likely issue a proposed rule in the Federal Register soon, possibly making its projected timeframe.

It is anticipated that the proposed regulation will eliminate the requirement that large establishments, those with 250 or more employees, electronically submit the establishment’s OSHA 300 Log and 301 Forms annually and only be required to submit the 300A Form on an annual basis. In the Spring Regulatory Agenda, OSHA stated,

OSHA proposes to amend its recordkeeping regulation to remove the requirement to electronically submit to OSHA information from the OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) for establishments with 250 or more employees which are required to routinely keep injury and illness records. Under the proposed rule, these establishments would be required to electronically submit only information from the OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).

A big issue of interest to employers will be whether the  proposed changes contain revisions to the “anti-retaliation” provisions of the regulation.  Specifically, the current regulation allows OSHA to cite an employer for having policies or procedures that may discourage employees from reporting a work-related injury or illness, which some stakeholders argue is in conflict with the OSH Act and Congressional intent with the whistleblower provisions under Section 11(c).

Employers should follow this rulemaking carefully as it is likely to change the requirements for the electronic submission of recordkeeping forms.  All covered employers were required to submit their 2017 300A Form electronically through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application by July 1, 2018. Employers can continue to electronically report their 2017 300A Form to OSHA, but submissions after July 1, 2018 will be flagged by OSHA as “Late”.