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OSHA Changes Tune on Electronic Record-Keeping Requirements

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has changed its tune on electronic record-keeping requirements. If you keep with OSHA's rules, you're probably well aware that the organization was planning to release its Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness rule on Jan. 25, 2019. However, that day has since passed, with OSHA never releasing this electronic record-keeping rule. So, why didn't OSHA publish the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness rule, and what does this mean for employers?

OSHA Eliminates Forms 300 and 301 From Record-Keeping Requirements

In the past, OSHA has required employers to submit reports of injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occur at their workplace. While there's no signs of this changing anytime soon, OSHA is easing the burden of record-keeping by eliminating Forms 300 and 301. OSHA has previously proposed these forms for employers in specific industries with a high rate of injury and illness. Now, however, OSHA says that it will only require employers to submit Form 300A.

Why OSHA Made the Change to Record-Keeping Requirements

OSHA reportedly made this change to reduce the risk of privacy-related data breaches. If it had proceeded to implement Forms 300 and 300A in its record-keeping rule, the personal information of workers could have been exposed during a data breach. This prompted OSHA to roll back the requirements, concluding that Forms  and 301 were no longer necessary.

"By preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers' injuries and body parts affected, OSHA is avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act," said OSHA in a press release.

Annual Report Is Still Necessary

Even though employers aren't required to submit Forms 300 and 301 as part of OSHA's record-keeping rule, they are still required to submit Form 300A once a year. This form, of course, is an annual overview of the business's occupational injuries and illnesses.

Keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses is an essential step to running a business. All businesses that operate in the United States, regardless of size or industry, must submit these records to OSHA. The good news is that OSHA has eased its requirements for record-keeping. As revealed here, employers are no longer required to submit Forms 300 and 301. Instead, they are only required to submit Form 300A.

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