OSHA requires online accident reporting: Impact in CA

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) have a number of requirements that are designed to help keep the workplace safe. These requirements cover work spaces that span from a traditional office to outdoor work areas like construction sites.

Although there are some rules that are directly aimed at each specific workplace, others are fairly general and apply to all work sites. One such example involves reporting requirements. Employers are generally required to report certain injuries and illnesses to OSHA. In an attempt to make the use of technological innovations, the agency has shifted to require online reporting of this data.

What has changed with reporting requirements? Generally, employers with 250 or more employees are required to enter the data online by December 1, 2017. In some circumstances, employers with a smaller staff are also required to report. For example, those in certain high-risk injuries will need to report if they have as few as 20 employees. Examples of qualifying employers would include those that work in the construction and utilities industries.

What is the purpose of this requirement? The need to report injuries and illness allows the federal agency to monitor the safety of the workplace. Repeat accidents that result in injury can trigger further investigation.

Does this apply in California? The rule is a national rule, but a recent report by The Business Journals notes that employers in California are not yet able to submit the data electronically to OSHA. This will likely change in the near future.

How does this help workers? Ideally, the change will result in an easier option for reporting and lead to increased compliance with reporting requirements.

What about injured workers? Those who are injured while on-the-job at a construction site or other workplace have options. It is wise to contact an attorney to discuss available legal remedies.

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