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New OSHA Reporting Rule in Effect Now

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With a new OSHA rule in place that affects more employers than in the past, your company may need to change how you report and submit injuries and illnesses. You’ll also want to review your company policies regarding worker notification, as this rule also has several updates that may affect your policies.

This rule is now in effect, so make sure you understand the implications for your company. Read some highlights below and make sure you understand the full implications, but also check OSHA to find more details to determine your company’s requirements.

Submitting Injury and Illness Details

You may currently fill out and turn in Forms 300 (log), 300A (annual summary) and/or 301 (incident report). While you must still complete, retain and certify these records, you may need to change the way you submit some of this information to OSHA. Here are the basics of the electronic submission requirements:

  • You can file the information using one of three ways: an online form, uploading a CSV file or transmitting via an application programming interface (API). The site is scheduled to go live in February 2017.
  • Because this information will become public, all individual employee identification information will be removed from the submission before online publication of data.
  • All data submitted will be available at the OSHA website for others to view and download.

Size of Company Matters in Submission Requirements

This rule divides companies into those with 250 or more workers at the same location and those with 20 to 249 workers at the same location (OSHA refers to the same location as the same establishment).
Several points to be aware of:

  • If a company has multiple locations, each one is rated separately, depending on the number of workers at that location. For example, if one company location has 500 workers, but the same company has another location with 150 workers, the requirements may be different for each location.
  • The employee count is the total number of workers at peak employment during the year, including temporary and seasonal workers, as well as part-time employees.
  • For companies with 20 to 249 workers, the reporting requirements apply only if the location is a ”high hazard” industry. View the list of industries that must submit electronic reports to see if your organization is included.

Protect Your Company and Employees

  • Consult legal counsel about best practice reporting procedures for your company, HIPAA and other legal requirements to protect employees’ rights.
  • Review Form 300A for 2016 to ensure it meets the requirements.

Required Reports and Reporting Deadlines

Submission YearForms required for establishments with 250+ employeesForms required for establishments with 20-249 employeesDeadline to submit forms
2017Forms 300AForm 300AJuly 1, 2017
2018Forms 300 logs, 300A, 301Form 300AJuly, 2018

Beginning in 2019, the submission deadline will be changed from July 1 to March 2.

Rules to Encourage Workers to Report Incidences

The new rules include specific actions all employers, regardless of company size, must take to encourage workers to report work-related injuries and illnesses. These rules also prohibit employer retaliation against workers who make these reports.

Employers are required to develop and implement an injury and illness reporting policy. They must also let employees know:

  • They have a right to report work-related injuries and illnesses
  • How to report injuries and illnesses
  • They will not be discriminated against for reporting an injury or illness
  • Drug testing may occur following an injury or accident when drug use likely contributed to the incident

Other Steps for Employers

  • Review any safety incentive programs you have in place. These incentives may be viewed as creating a company culture where reporting injuries is discouraged. For example, offering a pizza party or gift cards to a crew if there are no reported injuries during a month is considered a disincentive to reporting. An acceptable incentive might be a bonus for an employee observed working safely, reporting unsafe working conditions or serving on a safety committee.
  • If your policies include the phrase “immediately report,” seek legal advice on whether you need to make a policy change. “Immediately report” potentially discourages employees from reporting an injury that may have seemed minor when it occurred, but gets worse over time (e.g., a cut that gets infected).
  • Once reported information is published on the OSHA website, you can compare your company’s safety performance to that of similar organizations. This may help you set additional safety goals or incorporate new procedures.

Find More Information

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