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”.

 

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Photo of Tressi L. Cordaro Tressi L. Cordaro

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state…

Tressi L. Cordaro is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is co-leader of the firm’s Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group. She advises and represents employers on occupational safety and health matters before federal and state OSHA enforcement agencies.

Ms. Cordaro has advised employers faced with willful and serious citations as the result of catastrophic events and fatalities, including citations involving multi-million dollar penalties. Ms. Cordaro’s approach to representing an employer cited by OSHA is to seek an efficient resolution of contested citations, reserving litigation as the option if the client’s business objectives cannot otherwise be achieved. As a result, she has secured OSHA withdrawals of citations without the need for litigation.

Ms. Cordaro’s unique experience with government agencies involved in OSHA enforcement enables her to provide employers with especially insightful guidance as to how regulators view OSHA compliance obligations, and evaluate contested cases.

Ms. Cordaro served as the Presidentially-appointed Legal Counsel and Special Advisor to the past Chairman and Commissioner Horace A. Thompson, III at the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHRC) in Washington, DC, the agency that adjudicates contested federal OSHA citations. As the Commissioner’s chief counsel, Ms. Cordaro analyzed all cases presented to the OSHRC and advocated the Commissioner’s position during decisional meetings.

In addition, Ms. Cordaro worked at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration developing OSHA standards, regulations and enforcement and compliance policies, with emphasis on the construction industry. She has in-depth experience on technical issues including, in particular, issues related to cranes and derricks in construction.