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OSHA proposes mandatory electronic reporting of injuries, illnesses

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed requiring employers to file their injury and illness reports electronically, a change that also would make those records publicly accessible.

Public access to the information would encourage employers to maintain and improve their workplace safety records to be known as good companies for which to work and with which to do business with, OSHA said in a statement.

The data also would allow employers to compare their injury/illness rates to those of other employers, OSHA said.

“With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said in the statement. “The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA.”

The proposal would affect employers with more than 250 workers.

The public can submit comments on the proposed rule through Feb. 6, 2014, OSHA said.

The agency also will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule on Jan. 9, 2014, in Washington.