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The White House has signed off on a controversial new regulatory rule that proposed to expand electronic recordkeeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses and make such records publicly available.
The Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed its review on Friday after receiving the proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor on Oct. 5, 2015. The final rule has not yet been published, but the department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has gotten authority from the office to publish the rule with unknown changes.
In November 2013, OSHA proposed amending its regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries or illnesses to add new electronic reporting requirements, with the stated intention of making this information public, despite consistent objections from employers and their advocates about the potential consequences of publishing the information both for the companies and injured employees.
The rule was not determined to be “economically significant,” according to the information and regulatory affairs office website. OSHA previously estimated the proposed rule would cost businesses about $11.9 million a year. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argued that this number significantly underestimated the increased costs associated with companies more closely scrutinizing whether an injury or illness is recordable and reportable and that the expense would exceed $1.1 billion in the initial year, according to public comments submitted by the organization to OSHA in March 2014.
A New Jersey contractor is facing another series of citations from federal workplace safety regulators and total proposed fines of $789,536.