OSHA Proposes Expanding Recordkeeping Fine Period to Five Years

Document created by 1002070 on Aug 10, 2015Last modified by 1002028 on Aug 16, 2015
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Pat Rountree.jpgOSHA has submitted a proposed revision of the recordkeeping regulations that would expand the period for employer recordkeeping citations and or fines from 6 months to 5 years for failing to record injuries. Employers' reporting obligations will not change.  The "ongoing" nature of the reporting violations, under this proposal, is what is important.  The OSH Act currently sets a six month statute of limitations for OSHA recordkeeping violations. If a violation occurred more than six months ago, the current law prohibits an OSHA inspector from issuing a citation.  This proposal would further clarify an employer's continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury or illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is currently required to maintain the records.

 

Under this proposal OSHA seeks to reinforce that the recording of injuries is an ongoing employer responsibility, which means employers must keep records of injuries and illnesses even in cases where the employer failed to record it when first required to do so.  Further, a reporting violation will be deemed ongoing until the employer corrects it, and a citation may be issued even when the initial failure to report occurred outside of the six-month window.

 

Employers have until September 27 to comment on the proposed change.  For information on submitting comments and to view the regulation, click here.

 

OSHA Recordkeeping Overview

 

OSHA’s CFR Standard 29 CFR 1904.7 requires covered* employers to record work-related injuries and illnesses that meet one or more recording criteria, including injuries and illnesses resulting in death, loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or a diagnosis of a significant injury or illness by a physician or other licensed health care professional.

 

Recordkeeping requirements include the duty to record a covered injury or illness within 7 days of being notified on the OSHA 301 (or a workers compensation form that satisfies the OSHA 301 requirement); and to complete the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injury and Illness, and the OSHA 300A Summary annually.  For more information see the attached document on the OSHA form. 

 

Employers are encouraged to review the information on the log at the end of the year and before posting annually to make sure the information is complete and to correct any deficiencies they identify at that time. OSHA logs should be updated during the five year period if necessary to reflect changes.

 

Although North Carolina has a state OSHA plan, state plans will be required to implement the federal OSHA recordkeeping requirements if approved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Covered employers are those with ten or more employees unless they are in an exempt industry.  Click here to learn more about who is required to keep records and who is exempt.

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