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NEW OSHA REPORTING REGULATIONS WILL BE EFFECTIVE SOON

As a reminder, OSHA recently approved new regulations—effective January 1, 2017—that will require most employers to submit information regarding workplace injuries electronically for posting on OSHA’s website. Click to view a summary of these new requirements.

The new regulations also require—effective this Wednesday, August 10, 2016—employers to establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately, and to inform employees of such procedure. The regulations state a procedure is not reasonable if it would deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury. The regulations also prohibit retaliation against employees who report a work-related injury or illness.  FAQs from OSHA regarding these changes.

In addition, OSHA now contends that blanket post-injury drug testing policies deter proper reporting, in part because some employees feel it is an invasion of privacy. The commentary went on to state that:

To strike the appropriate balance here, drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which employee drug use is likely to have contributed to the incident, and for which the drug test can accurately identify impairment caused by drug use.

Thus, employers should review their post-accident drug testing policies and procedures. However, if an employer conducts more expansive drug testing to comply with federal or state law, OSHA would not consider this a violation of the final rule.

For questions about the new OSHA reporting regulations, please contact Mike Birrer or Kyle Perkins.

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