On May 11, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration released the final rule to help combat preventable workplace injuries and illnesses.
A press release from OSHA says the new rule is intended to “modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public, and OSHA about workplace hazards.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than three million workers suffer from a workplace injury or illness every year. Yet, there is little information on worker injuries and illnesses made public or available to OSHA. With the new rule, employers will be required to send OSHA injury and illness data, something employers are already required to collect, but data is submitted on a voluntary basis. The new rule would require that all business to submit all work related injuries and illnesses to OSHA electorally.
This is a continuation of an updated rule from 2013 to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses electronically.
In the press release, OSHA said:
Using data collected under the new rule, OSHA will create the largest publicly available data set on work injuries and illnesses, enabling researchers to better study injury causation, identify new workplace safety hazards before they become widespread and evaluate the effectiveness of injury and illness prevention activities.
By making this information public, OSHA hopes to incentivize employers to maintain a safe work environment, In the press release, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Health and Safety Dr. David Michaels said, "No employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace. Our new reporting requirements will 'nudge' employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities."