ABC members have until March 10 to take action on an OSHA proposed rule that would require employers to electronically submit detailed injury and illness records to the agency, that would in turn be made available to the public through an online database. Employer groups, including the ABC-led Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS), have already taken the opportunity to express serious concerns over the proposal.

Under the proposal, OSHA would require establishments (worksites) with 20 or more employees at any time in the previous calendar year in construction and other high-hazard industries to submit their injury and illness records (Forms 300, 300A and 301) annually. The proposal also would require quarterly submission for establishments with 250 or more employees at any time in the previous calendar year.

ABC is concerned that the agency’s intention to collect and publicize confidential business information—including but not limited to employer-, location-, and incident-specific injury and illness data—will lead to misuse and abuse by OSHA itself, and by entities seeking to threaten or disrupt the security and overall operations of an employer. Although employers in the construction industry with 10 or more employees already are required to keep these records and send paper or electronic copies to OSHA if requested, the current proposal would mandate electronic submission, aid in OSHA’s aggressive enforcement efforts and make confidential business details accessible to the general public. 

In addition to safety and privacy concerns, ABC and other employer representatives argue that OSHA has greatly underestimated the cost this rulemaking will have on businesses. The agency has failed to account for the time spent training employees, the additional time taken by employers to determine if an injury or illness is work-related, and the costs included with implementing an electronic recordkeeping system.

For more information, please view ABC's FAQ on the proposed rule.

**Compliance Note: Employers covered by OSHA’s current recordkeeping rule must prepare and post OSHA Form 300A, “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,” by Feb. 1, 2014, and keep the form posted until April 30, 2014.  The form must be posted at each establishment covered, in a visible place where notices to employees are customarily posted.