ELECTRONIC REPORTING AND OTHER OSHA DEVELOPMENTS
OSHA has long required employers to keep logs of job-related injuries and illnesses, but until recently the Agency did not require employers to file copies with the government. In 2016, OSHA issued a rule that required employers with 250 or more workers to submit OSHA Form 300A, which lists the number of job-related injuries and illnesses needing more than first-aid treatment, the number of workers at a site, and how frequently injuries and accidents occurred. The rule also would have required employers to electronically file their annual Form 300 log and reports on individual incidents, OSHA Form 301. There were several delays until finally there was a deadline of December 15, 2017, to file copies of the OSHA Form 300A alone electronically. It was expected that OSHA might use the information to target inspections at work sites with rates worse than industry averages or even publicize with "public shaming" the results. In later regulatory guidance, OSHA indicated it was considering deleting other requirements that employers submit the 300 log and the 301 forms dealing with individual accident reports.
The deadline to submit 2017 OSHA Form 300A is currently July 1, 2018. Additional information regarding the electronic reporting requirement is available at: https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting. The ability of OSHA to cite employers for violation of a failure to electronically file the Form 300A is limited because of the six-month statute of limitations prior to any inspection. While the enforcement of the electronic reporting requirement has been limited, the maximum fine is $12,934.00.
In another OSHA development, OSHA reports that worker safety and health inspections increased in fiscal year 2017. However, the 2017 total remains below the peak years of the Obama Administration, when the Agency conducted more than 40,000 inspections in both 2011 and 2012. About forty-five percent (45%) of the 2017 inspections were "programmed," resulting from efforts to emphasize a particular hazard, or a particular industry. Remaining inspections were "unprogrammed," which were often short-notice responses for industrial accidents.