The time to comment on a proposal from The Occupational Safety and Health Administration about a possible new regulation that would change the tracking and reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses has been extended from its original deadline.
It is proposing to amend its current recordkeeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information employers are already required to keep under existing regulations.
The first proposed new requirement is for businesses with more than 250 employees, and who are already required to keep records, to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA is also proposing that businesses with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year.
Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative, which was established in 1995,, to collect data on injuries and acute illnesses attributable to work-related activities in private-sector industries from approximately 80,000 establishments in selected high‑hazard industries.
OSHA says it plans to eventually post the data online, as encouraged by President Obama's Open Government Initiative. It says timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry.
The original announcement of the proposed rule in November followed one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics', which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.