Final OSHA Rule for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Tracking Enforcement Begins Nov. 1

Worker with sprained ankle on floor in warehouse
October 5, 2016

New Federal Requirements took Effect August 10, 2016

New requirements that call for employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they already record took effect Aug. 10, 2016, with phased in data submissions beginning in 2017. These requirements do not add to or change an employer's obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation. 

The rule also:

  • Prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness.
  • Requires employers to inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation, which can be satisfied by posting the already-required OSHA workplace poster.
  • Clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting; and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses.

These provisions became effective August 10, 2016, but OSHA has delayed their enforcement until Nov. 1, 2016 in order to provide outreach to the regulated community.

For more information, employers can review the final rule.

Contributed by Wilder Allen, a federal OSHA authorized instructor for general industry and construction.