On July 21, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule, which will undo the ABC-supported provisions of the 2019 final rule promulgated under the Trump administration and reprise the 2016 Obama-era rule. The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2024, for certain employers and OSHA intends to make much of the data it collects publicly available online.
In a press release, ABC announced its opposition to the final rule. “Unfortunately, the Biden administration is moving forward with a final rule that does nothing to achieve OSHA’s stated goal of reducing injuries and illnesses,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “Instead, the final rule 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.”
What does the final rule do?
- Establishments with 100 or more employees in certain high-hazard industries are required to electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301 to OSHA once a year. They are also required to include their legal company name when making electronic submissions to OSHA.
- Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-hazard industries will continue to be required to electronically submit information from their OSHA Form 300A annual summary to OSHA once a year.
- Establishments with 250 or more employees that must routinely keep records under OSHA’s injury and illness regulation will also continue to be required to electronically submit information from their Form 300A to OSHA once a year.
- The data must be electronically submitted through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application.
In June 2022, ABC submitted comments urging OSHA to withdraw the proposed rule.
ABC urged OSHA to withdraw the proposed rule. ABC has serious concerns that the Biden DOL final rule will increase the number of contractors subject to electronic safety data submission requirements and carry high risks for exposing sensitive and private employee information as well as confidential business information by posting parts of the submissions on a public website. Public disclosure of this information could cause reputational harm based on misleading information on the safety and health efforts of employers. These records could easily be misconstrued, and improper conclusions or assumptions could be made about an employer.