More than 900 ABC members joined ABC in submitting comments to OSHA requesting it withdraw a proposed rule that would require employers to electronically submit detailed injury and illness records to the agency that would be made available to the public through an online database.

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

For more information on the proposed rule and ABC’s concerns, read ABC’s frequently asked questions

In its comments, ABC pointed out that OSHA’s proposed rule exceeds the authority delegated to the agency by Congress and does nothing to achieve its stated goal of reducing injuries and illnesses. Instead, the proposal will force employers to disclose sensitive information to the public that can easily be manipulated, mischaracterized, and misused for reasons wholly unrelated to safety, as well as subject employers to illegitimate attacks and employees to violations of their privacy.

In addition, employer groups and the ABC-led Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS) expressed serious concerns over the proposal in writing and at an OSHA public meeting Jan. 9 and 10. CWS argued that OSHA’s proposal could diminish workplace safety by effectively eliminating the long-standing “no fault” policy for injury and illness reporting. CWS cautioned that such a move would emphasize minimum compliance and lead to an unwanted chilling effect on recordkeeping. The coalition called on OSHA to withdraw the proposed rulemaking.

To read ABC’s comments to OSHA, click here.

To read the coalition’s comments, click here.