In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule in efforts to modernize injury data collection, ‘nudge’ employers to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, reduce workman's comp insurance costs, and better inform workers, employers, the general public, and the organization itself about workplace hazards. Are you aware of and in compliance with the new federal requirements that became effective on August 10, 2016?
Shedding new light on workplace injuries
Though OSHA previously required employers to keep records of injuries and illnesses, prior to the new ruling this information was available neither publicly, nor to OSHA itself. Just as public disclosure of restaurant cleanliness is known to encourage food safety, the new requirements are hoped to encourage employers to increase their efforts to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses, protecting their business against a ‘dangerous workplace’ reputation, and allowing them to better compete to retain top workers.
Broadening the scope
To protect the relevance of the data set and better enable researchers, the final rule also promoted employee reporting without fear of retaliation and targeting employer policies that discourage injury reporting, resulting in inaccurate/incomplete record of workplace hazards.
New requirements do not affect all industries equally
Though all employers must continue to collect data internally, under the new rule only employers in high-hazard industries must provide data electronically to OSHA for public posting and for use to help the organization and researchers better target compliance assistance and enforcement resources for workers at the greatest risk.
Feeling a little behind-the-times on workplace injury prevention and meeting workman’s comp insurance needs? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Contact us today.