If you operate a large manufacturing plant or employ many skilled trade workers, there is always a risk of injuries and illnesses on the job. OSHA regulations require all employers to document any illnesses and injuries on the work site, and recent safety regulations that will take effect August 10, 2016, require all employers to submit detailed annual reports of workplace injuries and illnesses for publication.
This information is already collected by employers and only accessible to OSHA during an inspection or survey. With the new regulations, all employers will be required to disclose information that OSHA can then post on the internet to share with the public. However, OSHA confirms that they will not be linking that data to any personally identifiable information — anybody reading these reports would not be able to determine who the company is, and which employees were injured.
Many employment attorneys and businesses have voiced concerns over the new regulations, claiming that many employers may consider posting this type of information on the internet a violation of privacy.
If you have more than 250 employees or your work in a ‘high-risk’ industry and employ at least 20 employees, you will be required to file a report. Employers will also need to honor the provision of adding penalties that take action deemed as retaliation against any employees that report an accident. If your company is guilty of retaliating against employees, you will be subject to penalties. This provision is designed to prevent employees from underreporting incidents in fear of retaliation from the employer — OSHA wants unbiased results.
Another significant change is that employers will now be reporting safety data on an annual basis, instead of quarterly. By 2017, the first set of reports will need to be filed electronically.
These new regulations are designed to encourage employers to promote workplace safety, especially in industries where there is a high risk of injury or illness. Having these types of mandates in place may encourage employers to make appropriate changes to the workplace environment to promote a safer workplace, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Taking these extra measures will not only potentially reduce the number of workplace incidents, but will also reduce the negative impact of the company having consistently high injury rates.
Experts are suggesting all employers take a close look at their reporting process and make sure that they are reporting injuries and illness accurately. There is always a risk of over-reporting which can have a negative impact on the company in the long-term. Training employees to file reports accurately and monitoring reporting processes will be a high priority.
If you have questions about hiring practices or regulations that may affect your manufacturing company, talk to the experts at Bear Staffing.