OSHA Issues Final Rule Withdrawing Mandate That Large Employers Electronically File Data Contained in Their 300 and 301 Forms
You may recall that under the Obama Administration, the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that required companies with 250 or more employees to electronically submit data contained in their OSHA 300 and 301 forms annually. The information, which would contain summaries of employee names and injuries, would be maintained on government computer systems, but could be requested by third parties such as labor unions, special interest groups, or even competing companies who have an interest in such information. Last week OSHA issued a Final Rule which removed the obligation that employers with 250 or more employees electronically file this information. The Final Rule becomes effective on February 25, 2019. Under the Final Rule, covered employers are still required to submit their 300A forms through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
In issuing the Final Rule, OSHA stated that:
Elimination of the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees submit information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301 – a requirement that has not yet been enforced – does not change any employer’s obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under OSHA’s regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. The final rule also does not add to or change the recording criteria or definitions for these records.
OSHA noted that by preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers’ injuries and body parts affected, the agency is avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Under the Final Rule, for each establishment that is subject to the electronic filing mandate, the employer must submit the Employer Identification Number (EIN) used by that establishment. This goes into effect March 2, 2020. So, for the 2018 300A submissions that are due to be electronically filed no later than March 2, 2019 the EIN will not be required.
You can read a copy of the Final Rule published in the Federal Register here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-01-25/pdf/2019-00101.pdf