January 12, 2018 • Workers' Compensation
New York City workers’ compensation lawyers provide representation to victims who have been hurt at work or who have been made sick as a result of work duties There are many workplace rules that are aimed at reducing or preventing work injuries, but unfortunately these injuries continue to occur and jeopardize the health and safety of employees.
Just recently, a new rule went into effect that mandates employers report electronically when certain injuries occur. This rule could potentially help to improve worker safety by providing a more complete database of workplace injuries and by facilitating public disclosure of work injuries in order to encourage companies to be better at injury prevention.
The OSHA rule mandating that employers report workplace injuries electronically was created by the Obama administration. Some business groups at the time when the rule was created expressed concern that the creation of a searchable database of employment injuries would cause privacy issues, however the rule was put into place anyway.
The rule is applicable to companies which employ at least 250 people and who are required under current law to keep OSHA illness and injury records. The rule also applies to employers in high-risk industries which have a history of high rates of occupational injuries and illness. For employers in industries considered high risk, reporting is required if the company has 20 or more employees. Some of the industries classified as high risk include manufacturing, construction, utilities, agriculture, transportation, nursing homes, and hospitals, among others.
Businesses are already required to keep on-site records of workplace injuries. However, the rule is a marked shift in current policy because companies are now required by law to file their reports on work injuries electronically with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA has prepared a website with a new online tracking system companies are expected to make use of.
Companies subject to new reporting rules will be able to phase in their reporting process over time. The deadline from December of 2017 required that employers submit information from Form 300A which they should have completed already. By 2018, employees subject to the reporting rule will need to provide more information from more forms. Covered employees also have to turn in form 300A, 300, and 301 by July 1 of 2018, and companies with between 20 to 249 employees must turn in Form 300A by this same July deadline.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates it will take employers around 10 minutes to create the necessary account to make reports of workplace injuries, and it will take around an additional 10 minutes to 12 minutes to enter mandated information.
Hopefully, this rule will be effective — as its advocates argued it would be — in helping to prompt companies to take steps to improve their safety record. When workplace injuries do occur, victims should reach out to New York City workers’ compensation lawyers for help in protecting their rights and obtaining the compensation they deserve.