A recent Bloomberg Environment article reported that “Almost Half of Employers Didn’t Comply With Injury Reporting Rule.” Employers required to maintain injury and illness records were required to submit their 2017 annual summary of workplace injury and illnesses, OSHA 300A Form, by July 1, 2018. Approximately 460,192 employers were expected to file the 300A Form, but only 248,884 had actually filed by August 3, a month after the actual deadline.  Possible reasons to explain this 54% response rate, include:

  • Confusion among employers as to who is legally obligated to file and what documents are to be filed
  • The risk of repercussions for employers who fail to report is slight – OSHA can only cite for alleged violations less than 6 months old and when the Agency has cited employers for such violations the classification is typically other than serious.
  • Employers would prefer to risk being issued a citation for failing to report rather than reporting and giving OSHA data which could be used against them at a later date

OSHA experienced similarly low electronic submissions last December when the first submission of the 300A by employers was due. At that time OSHA found that one-third of employers failed to submit the 300A Form. In response OSHA announced it would engage in greater outreach to inform and educate employers of the obligation to submit the 300A Form. OSHA has also indicated that it was going to conduct a mass mailing outreach to employers who did not submit their 300A forms to inform them of their obligations under the regulation.

Employers who were required to submit the 300A Form but failed to do so are subject to a citation and penalty until January 1, 2019, which is the duration of the six-month statute of limitation for OSHA to issue such citations.

 

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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.