In 2016, the Obama administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued regulations requiring certain companies to electronically file annual employee occupational illness and injury information. This information would then be placed into a publicly accessible database. Last year, the Trump administration partially suspended this rule, only requiring employers to submit summary information contained in the OSHA 300A form, instead of more detailed descriptions of employee injury and treatment as disclosed in the Forms 300 and 301.
Last month, Public Citizen sued OSHA over the suspension, alleging that this could only be done through a separate rulemaking procedure. Several days after the suit was filed, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would permanently limit electronic disclosures to the summary form. OSHA indicated that the change is necessary to protect employee privacy and to prevent disclosure of personal medical information contained in the more detailed reports. Employee advocacy groups contend that the change is intended to prevent them from compiling information on companies’ safety practices. OSHA is accepting comments on the proposed rule through September 28.