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OSHA Clarifies Employers’ Responsibility to Maintain Accurate Injury and Illness Logs

July 28, 2015
OSHA has issued a proposed rulemaking clarifying the ongoing obligation of employers to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.

OSHA on July 28 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep the records.   

“Accurate records are not simply paperwork, but have an important, in fact life-saving purpose,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “They will enable employers, employees, researchers and the government to identify and eliminate the most serious workplace hazards - ones that have already caused injuries and illnesses to occur.”

OSHA is issuing this proposed rule in light of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks) to clarify its long-standing position that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness. The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.

The proposed rule will be published in the July 29 issue of the Federal Register. Members of the public can submit written comments on the proposed rule at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. See the Federal Register notice for submission details. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 27. 

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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