Beginning July 1, 2017 you will be required to adhere to new OSHA electronic reporting requirements. These requirements were put in place to promote transparency and give employees confidence to report injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation. Employers with 250 or more employees will be required to electronically submit their Form 300A. However, this also will apply to employers with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-risk industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, construction and retail.

To mitigate employee risk and ensure compliance with new regulations, use these seven best practices:

  1. Put safety into practice. Handbooks and manuals should be updated as new safety issues and procedures are identified with clear, thorough descriptions of safety practices and procedures.
  2. Integrate disciplinary process into employee handbook. Document your processes for discipline should employees or managers not be compliant with safety protocols. And have this handy in case of an OSHA inspection.
  3. Stay current. This includes OSHA regulatory requirements and enforcement, state-specific regulations, industry-specific injury and accident trends, and common industry violations.
  4. Maintain visibility and accountability. Consistently enforce the policies and regulations stated in employee and safety manual. Communicate policies to every employee to help foster a culture of safety.
  5. Perform audits. Consistency is key. Assess and evaluate safety programs on a regular basis and use performance data. Make changes as needed, and communicate those changes quickly and clearly.
  6. Assign an inside compliance manager, or hire a consultant. A compliance expert can review policies and procedures for adherence to state and federal laws. An expert can also drive changes to the current culture and level of employee engagement.
  7. Communicate safety company-wide.  Go beyond the employee handbook acknowledgment and post the document in public areas to remind everyone—even visitors—of the company’s commitment to safety.