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OSHA program targets employers in record-keeping crackdown

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The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a site-specific inspection program targeting employers who the agency believes should have, but did not, electronically submit certain injury and illness data for calendar year 2016.

The program will target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday. This program does not include construction worksites, according to a notice released on Wednesday.

Under this program, the agency will perform inspections of employers the agency believes should have provided Form 300A data, but did not for the calendar year 2016 injury and illness data collection, which OSHA required employers to electronically submit by Dec. 15, 2017, according to the statement.

The calendar year 2017 deadline was July 1, 2018, but employers can still provide this information to the database, according to the statement.

Going forward, establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses will be required to provide this information each year by March 2.

OSHA recently proposed rolling back parts of its electronic record-keeping rule to protect sensitive employee information although it did not rescind the agency’s plan to publish employer information. In addition, OSHA last week published a new memorandum clarifying its enforcement stance on the anti-retaliation provisions of the rule specifically in relation to post-accident drug testing and employee incentive programs, but the memo muddied the waters for many experts, who expressed concern that the agency is implementing policy through guidance rather than engaging in a formal rule-making process and could change its enforcement policy again.