May 17, 2016

How the New OSHA Ruling Affects You

, Claims Management

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule that will require certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. These employers will include those in high-hazard industries. The injury and illness data collected will be posted on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s website.

The focus of this initiative is to encourage preventative measures for workplace injuries and promote better management practices.

“Just as public disclosure of their kitchens’ sanitary conditions encourages restaurant owners to improve food safety, OSHA expects that public disclosure of work injury data will encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses,” according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The new rule will also promote an employee’s right to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation and states that employers must have procedures for reporting workplace incidents that do not discourage employees from reporting.

"Since high injury rates are a sign of poor management, no employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

"Our new reporting requirements will 'nudge' employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities,” Michaels said. “Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources at establishments where workers are at greatest risk, and enable 'big data' researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer."

For more information, visit OSHA’s website.