OSHA is mixing it up a bit lately with new rules on the electronic tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Starting out in 2017, some employers with as few as 20 employees at a single site will have to electronically file employee injuries and accidents that occurred in the prior year. This will apply to 2016 injuries and accidents for these employers. Although these new regulations will place more demands on many employers, perhaps the greater concern is that OSHA intends to make the information public.
The reason for sharing this information publicly is best stated on the OSHA website: OSHA believes that public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.
So, why should employers care? For starters, employers are required to report incidents that are outside of their control, including car accidents and heart attacks. These incidents can have a negative impact on an employer in terms of job applicant and customer perceptions of the company. In addition, labor unions can mine this data and use it in their organization efforts. Along these same lines, competitors will have increased visibility into rival businesses.
For a full overview of OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses download our employer compliance advisor. It outlines seven current practices that are affected by the final rule as well as key dates related to the rule.