OSHA’s new Rule Clarifies Employer’s Recordkeeping Obligation

Washington DC – In December, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new final rule, that takes effect on January 18, 2017.  The final rule clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each employee recordable injury and illness.  Under OSHA’s existing rules, an employer must record information about certain work-related injuries and illnesses on an OSHA 300 Log.  Each recordable injury or illness on the OSHA 300 Log, and the OSHA 301 Incident Report, must be completed within seven (7) calendar days of receiving information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred. Employers retain their OSHA Logs, Incident Reports and annual summaries for five (5) years following the end of the calendar year that they cover.  Failing to record a reportable injury is an on going violation of the recordkeeping rules which can be cited by OSHA for up to six (6) months after the 5 year retention period ends.

New rules Clarifies Continuing Violation – After January 18, an employer that fails to record a reportable injury within 7 days on the OSHA 300 log, and the legal obligation to record the injury continues past the 7th day, and each successive day where the injury remains unrecorded constitutes a continuing occurrence of the violation.  So,if an employer is late to record the injury on the OSHA 300 log, OSHA can only fine the employer is a citation is issued within 6 months of the cessation of the violation (aka date injury added belatedly to the OSHA 300 log).

The final rule clarifies that an employer cannot avoid the five-year maintenance requirement by failing to make the record in the initial 7 days; rather, the obligation to make the record, for both the OSHA 300 Log and the OSHA 301 Incident Report, continues throughout the 5-year maintenance period even if the employer fails to meet its initial obligation.  The rule does not create any new recordkeeping obligations.

Consultstu LLC provides fractional HR services to small/mid businesses to lower operational costs, improve business processes and comply with workplace regulations.  We deliver customized HR solutions that provide protection from expensive mistakes and strategies to improve workplace results. Call us at 727-350-0370 or visit http://www.consultstu.com

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