On January 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued final regulations that roll back an Obama-era proposal that would have required large employers to submit extensive information annually regarding workplace injuries and illnesses. That proposal required employers with 250 or more employees to electronically submit each year their OSHA Form 300 and 301 logs and injury and illness reports. Instead, these employers will only have to provide their Form 300A summary of such workplace incidents.
OSHA justified the change on the basis of protecting worker privacy. The agency said that the 300 and 301 forms could contain employee identifying medical information subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. In addition to the Form 300A requirement, employers will have to provide OSHA with their Employer Identification Number. Affected employers must submit the required information by March 2, 2019.
On the same day that OSHA released its final rule, three public health interest groups sued the agency in federal court in Washington. The lawsuits allege that the change to the reporting requirements was arbitrary and capricious, and that OSHA ignored comments made during the rulemaking process that explained the benefits to worker safety and health.