By Keith J. Bowen

After considerable delay, it’s now official: The OSHA 300 electronic reporting rule for filing injury and illness reports goes into effect Dec. 1 under a two-year phase-in that extends the original compliance deadline from July 1. 

The new deadline applies to establishments with 250 or more employees that are covered by the OSHA record-keeping rules, as well as those with 20 to 249 employees in certain high-risk industries.

Final rules for employer compliance in states with their own OSHA programs have not been issued yet, though these states must be compliant by May 1, 2018.

The OSHA 300 electronic reporting rule is a simple change for organizations that was inevitable in this technological age. Paper filing is bulky and not as reliable or accessible as electronic documentation. Plus, OSHA is counting on improved tracking of workplace injuries as a result of the rule. 

The rule was suspended in May due to several concerns by construction industry groups.  Some objected to the tightness of the initial deadline for electronically submitting data and the undue strain employers would experience in trying to meet it. Other groups were concerned that the data could be misused by outside interests. And others still wondered if it all would be a moot point, expressing doubts that the secure website for filing the data would even be functional. 

To the latter question, the answer would be “yes” and OSHA provides three options to use it to submit injury reports:

  • A web form will be available to submit date directly onto the OSHA site.
  • The site will also accommodate an uploaded CSV file for single or multiple locations, submitted simultaneously.
  • There’s also the option to send information through an Application Programming Interface (API) for those who utilize an automated record keeping system. The Injury Tracking Application (ITA) will be accessible on the ITA launch page, where users can also input their 2016 OSHA 300A information.

For guidance on workplace risk issues, including safety, regulatory compliance and worker’s compensation issues, contact HUB International’s team of consultants.