OSHA earlier this month unveiled a proposed rule that would require certain employers to electronically submit their workplace injury and illness data to the agency on a quarterly or annual basis.
The proposed rule is part of OSHA's plan to create an online database of company-specific injury and illness data, the agency said.
"With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities," OSHA Administrator David Michaels said in a news release. "The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA."
The first proposed new requirement is for businesses with more than 250 employees – and that already are required to keep records – to electronically submit their injury and illness records on a quarterly basis to OSHA.
OSHA also is proposing that businesses with 20 or more employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates, be required to electronically submit their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year.
As part of President Obama's Open Government Initiative, the agency said it plans to post the data online.
"Timely, establishment-specific injury and illness data will help OSHA target its compliance-assistance and enforcement resources more effectively by identifying workplaces where workers are at greater risk, and enable employers to compare their injury rates with others in the same industry," the agency said in a news release.
The public will have 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014, to submit written comments on the proposed rule. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, D.C.
For more, read "OSHA Wants to Get Real (As In Real Time) With Injury and Illness Data"
in sister publication EHS Today.