The 2016 Revised Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rule commonly referred to as the Electronic Reporting Rule, included a provision that would make the information submitted by companies publicly available. Under the final rule, establishments with 250 or more employees, as well as printing operations with between 20 and 249 employees, must electronically submit injury and illness data drawn from their Form 300A. The 300A data must be submitted to OSHA via the Agency’s online Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The deadline for reporting is March 2 of each year for the previous year’s data.
The Trump Administration did not move forward, in an expeditious manner to publish submitted data on OSHA’s web page. When Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the data were denied, the petitioners sought a legal remedy to require OSHA to release the data. In June of 2020, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that OSHA had to release the data.
As a result, OSHA has now posted work-related injury and illness data electronically submitted by employers on its web page. The agency has posted Form 300A data for the following calendar years: 2016, 2017 and 2018. In addition, the Agency published a data dictionary which provides definitions for the data entry column headings and other terms found in the actual yearly data files. Once the data for 2019 is complied, it will also be released.
This court decision places even greater urgency on printing operations to ensure that their injury and illness data is accurate as it will now be available to the public. Therefore, the information included on Form 300, which contains more detailed information and is used to complete Form 300A, needs to be carefully reviewed. For example, double counting an injury as both “days away from work” and “job transfer or restriction” could inflate the overall number of incidents on Form 300A.