OSHA Publishes New Notice on Record Keeping

Health form – date of accident

WASHINGTON, DC – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep the records.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said that “accurate records are not simply paperwork, but have an important, in fact life-saving purpose,”  “They will enable employers, employees, researchers and the government to identify and eliminate the most serious workplace hazards – ones that have already caused injuries and illnesses to occur.”

OSHA is issuing this proposed rule in light of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks)to clarify its long-standing position that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness. The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.

The proposed rule will be published in the July 29, 2015, issue of the Federal Register. Members of the public can submit written comments on the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. See the Federal Register notice* for submission details. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 27, 2015.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.