Posted By Stephen Kendrick,
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
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[Washington, DC] - Yesterday, NLBMDA urged the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to withdraw its proposed Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule
that would require employers to report injury and illness data more
often, submit reports in new electronic formats, and allow the agency to
release the raw data to the general public. NLBMDA questioned the legal
authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) to
issue such a regulation that would publicly release the injury and
illness reports and warned of the potential unintended consequences.
OSHA's proposed rule would require companies with more than
250 employees to electronically submit the records on a quarterly basis
to OSHA. OSHA is also proposing that establishments with 20 or more
employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates
(including LBM dealers), be required to submit electronically their
summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. OSHA
plans to eventually post the data online.
"The release of injury and illness reports could lead to
mis-characterizations about an employer's safety record. OSHA is
proposing to release this information without context or clarifications
about each incident. This creates the opportunity for, and will likely
result in, misuse of the information. This would punish good actors and
reward bad actors by creating the incorrect presumption that employers
with several reports operate with hazardous work conditions and those
with few or no records are workplaces with very safe conditions," said
Michael O'Brien, NLBMDA president and CEO. "The opposite is likely to
be true because employers that keep meticulous records and diligently
report to OSHA are more likely to closely monitor safety conditions and
quickly correct any issues that may arise at the workplace than those
that fail to report."
NLBMDA recognizes the need for adequate levels of transparency and accountability in reporting and record-keeping, where such reporting and record-keeping
requirements are justified. The association will continue its efforts
to improve workplace safety through education, training, and
Click here to read NLBMDA's comments to OSHA.
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