The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reaching out to the 1.4 million employers who are required to meet the updated injury and illness recordkeeping rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2002.
"The new rule is more flexible and simpler to follow and represents a change from requirements that had been in place for 30 years. In our outreach efforts, we want to do everything we can to help employers and workers make the transition to the improved recordkeeping system" said OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw.
This week, Henshaw sent a letter to nearly 200 OSHA stakeholders, trade associations, professional societies and unions detailing OSHA outreach efforts including materials available on the Web and training sessions planned across the country. In addition, the letter encourages all stakeholders to communicate with their members and help them understand the new rule. He noted the agency's plans to mail out new recordkeeping forms in early December to 1.4 million employers affected by the rule.
Materials available on OSHA's recordkeeping Web site at www.osha.gov include a brochure to help employers determine if they are covered by the rule, several fact sheets, PowerPoint training programs and downloadable copies of the recordkeeping forms with instructions for completing them. Additional materials planned for the web include frequently asked questions, an interactive E-tool to guide employers and a compliance directive to provide guidance to OSHA inspectors. Printed materials will also be available from OSHA's Publications Office at 202-693-1888.
OSHA plans a satellite training session on Nov. 29 on the new recordkeeping requirements. Stakeholders can participate through community colleges and similar locations to be announced locally. OSHA's Web site also lists regional recordkeeping coordinators who can respond to specific questions from employers and workers about the new rule and can train specific stakeholders at the local level. In addition, states operating their own job safety and health programs are developing their own equivalent recordkeeping rules and can respond to questions and provide training and materials.
The agency began work revising its recordkeeping requirements in the 1980's to improve data collection on occupational injuries and illnesses. Published on Jan. 19, 2001, the updated rule gives employers more flexibility to use computers to meet OSHA regulatory requirements, increases employee involvement and provides simpler forms to track workplace injuries and illnesses.
edited by Sandy Smith