The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) late last week issued a final rule eliminating a requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees electronically submit information from certain OSHA forms.
These companies will no longer be required to electronically submit information on OSHA’s Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses form (Form 300) and Injury and Illness Incident Report form (Form 301). They are, however, still required to electronically submit information from the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses form (Form 300A). The final rule becomes effective Feb. 25, 2019.
Collection of 2018 information from the OSHA Form 300A began on Jan. 2, 2019. The deadline for electronic submissions is March 2, 2019.
OSHA noted that by preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers’ injuries and body parts affected, the agency is avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
While NAHB generally supported OSHA’s position on Forms 300 and 301, NAHB believes that the agency did not go far enough in addressing significant issues associated with the previous rulemaking. The final rule does not address stakeholder concerns that the existing requirement to submit OSHA 300A Summary Forms includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) that must also be protected from public release. CBI is highly valuable to employers and must be protected in some fashion from public release. During the rulemaking, NAHB urged OSHA to rescind its submission requirements for 300A Summary Forms.
NAHB also disagrees with OSHA’s decision to require employers to include their Employee Identification Number (EIN) in the submission of the OSHA 300A Summary Forms. The agency’s desire to require the submission of the EIN for enforcement and research purposes is not outweighed by the potential for fraud exacted upon employers through the public release or availability of the EIN.
Notably, OSHA attempted to exclude public comments on problematic areas of the original Electronic Recordkeeping rule and failed to address stakeholder concerns about those provisions here.
The compliance date for the EIN submission is March 2, 2020, for 2019 Form 300A submissions.
NAHB is a party to active litigation on some of these objections and we hope to see a positive outcome to protect the confidentiality and privacy of NAHB members.