A few weeks ago, we alerted AAA members that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had announced that it would further delay the deadline for employers to electronically file injury data. The new rules, which require electronic injury data reporting were originally to take effect on July 1, 2017. These rules were delayed until this December 1, 2017. It was believed the requirements, an Obama administration initiative, might never see the light of day under the new administration. However, OSHA announced Friday that all employers (ambulance providers) who employ twenty or more employees will be able to begin submitting electronic report injury data starting August 1, 2017.
OSHA announced Friday that it will be launching the new electronic Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on August 1, 2017. The new rules are an effort to “nudge” employers to improve safety in the workplace by publishing employee injury data, as reported by employers. Electronic data reporting would give job candidates and employees the ability to compare potential employers and their safety records. Currently, most employers are required to record injuries that occur in the workplace, but this data is not easily available to candidates or OSHA itself. It is anticipated that employers can expect greater investigative and enforcement actions after electronic injury reporting begins.
Under the Old & New Rules
Every year, ambulance services with 10 or more employees are required to record all workplace injuries that involve medical treatment beyond first aid, days away from work, restricted/transfer of duties, or loss of consciousness. There are certain injuries that must be reported immediately to OSHA if they occur, workplace fatalities, hospitalization, loss of an eye, or an amputation. The injury logs must be compiled and kept for five years. Each year, employers are required to post a summary (Form 300A) of all workplace injuries in the workplace for from February 1 through April 30.
Currently, OSHA does not collect workplace injury information except through complaints from employees, onsite inspections, mandated reports of specific serious injuries, or through data collection from limited “high hazard” industries. This new rule, will require that injury data reports be reported electronically to OSHA. Many ambulance services already report this information electronically to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), who collects data on behalf of the Department of Labor but the employer specific information is not released publicly. Under these new rules, employer injury data will be published.
Who Do These Rules Effect?
The electronic reporting requirements are based on the size of employer. For the purposes of determining employer size, employers must count each individual employed at any time during the calendar year as one employee. This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers. All employers with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Employers with 20-249 employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A only.
The new rules are being phased in by employer size. In 2017, all employers, with 20 or more employees must report the information from OSHA Form 300A, which is the summary of all injury data by December 1, 2017. By July 1, 2018, employers with 250 or more employees, will report all injury data from Forms 300, 300A, and 301 and employers with 20-249 employees will only report the data from the Form 300A. Starting in 2019, all covered employers will have to report their 2018 injury information electronically by March, 2019. Thereafter, all employers will report injury data electronically by March of each year.
The electronic data submission process involves four steps:
- Creating an establishment (employer account);
- Adding 300A summary data;
- Submitting data to OSHA; and
- Reviewing the confirmation email.
The secure website offers three options for data submission. One option will enable users to manually enter data into a web form. Another option will give users the ability to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. A third option will allow users of automated recordkeeping systems to transmit data electronically via an application programming interface (API).
OSHA states that the creation of the account in the electronic Injury Tracking Application (ITA) will only take employers about ten minutes. After creating an account, OSHA predicts that it will take employers about ten minutes to report the data on Form 300A. For large employers reporting also required to submit Form 300 and 301 information, OSHA is predicting it will take about 10 minutes per incident.
For those who are already reporting injury information to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) electronically, you will be required to report the information to OSHA also. OSHA states that it is working on eliminating the duplicate reporting requirements but that until they do, employers will have to input data to both agencies.
The new Injury Tracking Application (ITA) does not launch until August 1, 2017. Employers will have until December 1, 2017 to submit their first set of injury data from 2016. If AAA members are uncertain if they are tracking and reporting injury data appropriately or believe that they need assistance with this new requirement, be sure to contact the AAA for assistance. Members should look to the Daily Digest or the AAA website for further announcements regarding this or any employment regulatory change that will impact our members.