OSHA Update: OSHA Proposes Extended Deadline for Electronic Filing of Injury and Illness Reports

By Rod SmithPat MillerMatt Morrison, and Alyssa Levy

On June 28, 2017, OSHA proposed a five-month extension for certain employers to electronically file their 2016 OSHA 300A Annual Summary Forms with OSHA. The deadline is currently set to arrive on July 1, 2017. As proposed, the new deadline is December 1, 2017.

The extension comes under OSHA’s new rule, “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” effective January 1, 2017. Among other things, the new rule requires certain employers to electronically submit their injury and illness records to OSHA on an annual basis. OSHA has proposed extending the July 1, 2017 deadline because it has yet to develop a computerized data collection system necessary for employers to comply. OSHA now claims the system will be up and running by August 1st, allowing employers to meet the new December 1st deadline.

As of now, the delay is only a proposal, and would not go into effect unless a final rule is published in the Federal Register. Parties wishing to submit comments on the proposed delay must do so by July 13, 2017. It is expected that the proposed delay will become final.

It is important to note that the proposed delay only impacts the first deadline for electronic filing of injury and illness reports, not other provisions of the rule, including new anti-retaliation provisions that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for reporting injuries and illnesses. The new anti-retaliation provisions, which OSHA interprets to limit post-incident drug testing, went into effect on November 1, 2016, and are highly controversial. In the June 28th Federal Register Notice announcing the proposed filing delay, OSHA states that it “intends to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise, or remove other provisions of the prior final rule,” leaving the door open for possible revisions of the anti-retaliation rules, or other requirements of the electronic filing rule.

Compliance deadlines in another new OSHA rule, Silica in Construction, were also recently extended from June 23, 2017, to September 23, 2017.

Rod Smith, Pat Miller, Chuck Newcom, Matt Morrison and Alyssa Levy are part of Sherman & Howard’s Labor & Employment Law Department, practicing in the areas of occupational safety and health law. They routinely appear before the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, and state occupational safety and health boards.

Sherman & Howard has prepared this advisory to provide general information on recent legal developments that may be of interest. This advisory does not provide legal advice for any specific situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship between any reader and the Firm.

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©2017 Sherman & Howard L.L.C.                                                        June 28, 2017