The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The announcement follows the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.
According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels, "With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA."
Reportedly, the public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C. A Federal Register notice announcing the public meeting will be published shortly.
OSHA is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing standards, Part 1904. The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees (and who are already required to keep records) to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative.
To build a culture of safety, organizations must create a safe working environment, and an awareness and understanding of how to continually improve that environment.
The reality of workplace injuries is that most accidents – if not all of them – are 100% preventable through ongoing safety training efforts and using the proper protective equipment. When you take the time to follow through on providing training and equipment you greatly improve the well-being of your workers and protect your company from incurring expensive workers’ compensation costs.
To learn more about signing up your workers for ongoing safety training, call 800-523-5367 or click on the following link to speak with a workplace safety specialist at Arbill.
Have a safe day!
For more information on OSHA’s proposed new rule, visit: https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=25047