Tag Archives: Safety and Health Compliance

OSHA Charges Ahead With Electronic Report Rule

Contributed by Matthew Horn, August 2, 2017

Electronic Reporting File_2On June 27, 2017, OSHA issued a press release announcing that it would be delaying the compliance date for its Rule requiring most employers to electronically submit their injury and illness data to OSHA. The press release proposed pushing the compliance date back four months, from July 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017, so OSHA could review the Rule closely.

Just over two weeks later, OSHA issued another press release announcing that it would be launching its website allowing employers to submit their injury and illness data on August 1, 2017. On August 1, 2017, OSHA made good on that promise and launched its website, which is linked here.

Under the Rule, virtually all employers with twenty or more employees are required to submit their completed Form 300A for 2016 by December 1, 2017. In 2018, employers with twenty or more employees must submit their completed Form 300A for 2017 by July 1, 2018, and those employers with more than 250 employees must submit their Form 300 and 301s by that deadline, as well.

Notably, despite moving forward with the launch of its injury tracking website, OSHA has yet to address the “review” of the Rule it promised in its June 27, 2017 press release. Accordingly, employers would be well-served to wait to submit their 300A data until shortly before the December 1, 2017 deadline to see if OSHA changes course on the Rule before that deadline. Mark your calendars.

OSHA Emphasizes Whistleblower Protection for Temporary Workers

Contributed by Jonathon Hoag

Last month OSHA published another bulletin as part of its series for providing guidance on safety and health compliance with respect to temporary workers.  This particular bulletin reiterated OSHA’s position that temporary employees have the same rights and protections as all other covered employees, including protection against retaliation for engaging in protected activity.  OSHA stressed that a temporary employee who believes he or she is retaliated against for reporting injuries, participating in OSHA inspection, raising safety concerns or complaints, or engaging in any other conduct protected by the act may file a complaint with OSHA against the host employer, staffing agency, or both.

OSHA has been expressly targeting enforcement efforts related to temporary workers and separately ramping up whistleblower protections.  This recent bulletin merges these two initiatives and sends a cautionary reminder to employers that use of temporary staff will not shield it from potential whistleblower liability under OSHA.  As the bulletin states, a simple request from the host company to remove or replace a temporary worker can put both the host employer and staffing agency on the hook for a retaliation claim if the employee alleges he or she engaged in protected activity before being removed – this is true even if the staffing agency places the worker at another location.  Retaliation claims of all types continue to rise and this is yet another area where employers that host temporary workers must proceed with caution.

OSHA is expected to continue issuing bulletins and guidance related to host employer and staffing agency responsibilities for compliance with safety and health compliance.  OSHA’s temporary worker initiative is updated periodically and is located at:  https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/.