Time might be on Mick Jagger’s side (yes it is). But if your client is an employer with 10 or more employees, then time is definitely not on their side—at least as far as OSHA is concerned. Last year, a new OSHA recordkeeping rule went into effect, requiring most employers to electronically submit injury and illness data. Learn everything you need to know in this blog.
What your clients need to know
By July 1, 2018, OSHA is requiring employers to electronically submit injury and illness data (Form 300A) that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.
Reminder: Employers must still post their OSHA 300A summaries at each job site from February to April of every year. Just because an employer must electronically submit data to OSHA, doesn’t mean an employer doesn’t ALSO have to post at their job site. Remind your clients so they remain in compliance!
It’s important to let your employer clients know that only the information from the OSHA 300A form need be submitted prior to July 1, 2018. Form 300A reports an employer’s total number of deaths, missed workdays, job transfers or restrictions, and injuries and illnesses as recorded on Form 300. It also includes the number of workers and the hours they worked for the year.
Why did OSHA make this change?
On Thursday, May 12, 2016, OSHA changed the way workplace injuries are to be reported. OSHA was concerned that it was only able to access about 1% of all workplace injury reports, mostly through audits and surprise inspections.
So in order to gain access to the remaining 99%, OSHA now requires employers to report all incidents directly to them.
The good news is that the new rules will benefit those employers who have already committed to ingraining a safety culture for their organization, and provide a “nudge” to those employers who put safety on the back burner. No longer will a “strong safety culture” be a plus or a bonus for an organization.
The new rules now require employers to take safety seriously, by further reinforcing the need and importance of establishing a strong safety culture, one that trickles down from the C-suite to the workers on the floor. Now more than ever it’s extremely important that companies prioritize workplace safety.
What else should employers be aware of?
Your clients also need to be aware that any reported incidents can also act as breadcrumbs for OSHA to find its way back to incidents that may not have been reported. And unfortunately, OSHA does not offer a “get out of jail free” card. If your clients are found to be negligent in reporting workplace injuries, the penalties can be extremely harsh.
It’s equally important that all reporting be accurate (which starts with picking the right employee to handle the task). Any report generated should show that the company advocates having healthy and safety-conscious employees, because once incorrect information is submitted to OSHA, it’s difficult to go back and change. An errant report has the potential to paint any company in shades of doubt, and should be avoided at all costs. And the key is timely and accurate reporting.
The obligation you have to keep your employer client in the loop on this important date cannot be understated. Plus, it opens up the door to secure new clients who aren’t currently receiving this type of advice from their agent.
If you want more resources for supporting your clients’ OSHA compliance, check out this checklist of the most common OSHA 300A summary mistakes. Provide it to your clients to add value today!