New OSHA Regulations on Illnesses and Injuries

OSHA protection

OSHA announced new regulations on reporting workplace illnesses and injuries in May. This is a two-part change. Part one involves reporting illnesses and injuries to OSHA electronically each year and goes into effect in January, 2017. Part two covers changes in the policies and procedures needed to ensure employees report their illnesses and injuries without fear of negative consequences. Part two goes into effect on November 1, 2016.

Part one will not affect most of our readers. The changes require employers who under the current rules, must post a copy in their office of their OSHA 300A report (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), must now post them electronically to OSHA if they have 20 or more employees. In addition, employers with 250 or more employees must electronically post the back-up documents (OSHA Report 300 and 301). OSHA plans to use this data to better ensure employee safety and will post the data on a public website, minus employee names.

There are three ways you can be exempted (or partially exempted) from electronic reporting. You must still keep records on all injuries and illness incidents and be able to produce them if requested by OSHA even if you are exempt from filling out and posting these reports.

  1. If you have 10 or fewer employees you are exempt from keeping or posting these reports.
  2. If you have 11-19 employees you must still post the 300A Report in your office annually but are exempt from electronic posting.
  3. If your industry is listed in Appendix A of Federal Regulation 1904 as one that is partially exempt, you do not have to produce these reports or post them therefore you do not have to follow the electronic posting regulations. “Partially exempt” means you are exempt but OSHA can write you and require that your business participate in a survey that usually lasts from 1 to 3 years. The following is a list of pertinent “partially exempt” industries by NAICS code.
    • 4461-Health and personal care stores
    • 6211- Offices of Physicians
    • 6212- Offices of Dentists
    • 6213- Offices of other health practitioners
    • 6214- Outpatient Care Centers
    • 6215- Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
    • 8122- Death Care Services

The new regulations do not change the fact that all businesses, with no exceptions, must report any catastrophic work-related illnesses or injuries to OSHA. A death must be reported within 8 hours and hospitalization, loss of limb or eye must be reported within 24 hours. The following link can be used for catastrophic reporting.

Part two of the new regulations involves changing policies and procedures to ensure that employees understand the importance of reporting work-related illnesses and injuries, understand how to report and feel safe from any negative consequences of reporting. These changes apply to all businesses.

You must establish reasonable procedures to report illnesses and injuries that do not discourage workers from reporting to you.

You must inform your employees of the reporting procedures, that they have the right to report and that their employer is not allowed to discriminate against them for reporting. Under these regulations OSHA can now cite and fine a business for discrimination even if the employee did not report it to OSHA. Next month’s OSHA article will discuss what OSHA means by discrimination.

Employees, ex-employees, and their personal representative are allowed to access their own incident reports and if requested it must be provided by the end of the following day.

If you are a TMC OSHA Client: TMC’s new policies and procedures for these regulations will be included in your 2017 updates.