Federal OSHA’s Final Rule on Electronic Reporting of Injuries and Illnesses

On January 25, 2019, Fed-OSHA published a final rule that California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has determined substantially diminishes the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” requirements that were originally set forth on the May 12, 2016 rule by Fed-OSHA.  The newly published Fed-OSHA final rule rescinds the requirement for companies with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from the injury and illness logs (Form 300) and the Injury and Illness Incident Report (Form 301).  The final rule becomes effective February 25, 2019.

The official rationale for eliminating the electronic submission of Forms 300 and 301 is worker privacy.  Although Fed-OSHA believes that information from Forms 300 and 301 is exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosures, Fed-OSHA and many employer representatives are concerned it could be ordered by a court to release the information.  The only part of the rule that survives is the requirement that the Form 300A be posted electronically each year.

Pursuant to California Labor Code section 6410.2(b), Cal/OSHA will convene an advisory committee meeting to evaluate how to implement necessary changes that will continue to protect the goals of Fed-OSHA’s “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” rule, as issued May 12, 2016.  The public advisory committee meeting will be held at the Elihu Harris Building in Oakland, California on May 9, 2019 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  We’ll keep you posted on recommendations made by the Advisory Committee.