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A Guide to the New OSHA Electronic Reporting Rule

Workers use the new OSHA electronic reporting rule to report incidents and accidents.

The U.S. Department of Labor has introduced a new final rule. Effective January 1, 2024, specific employers in high-hazard industries are required to submit injury and illness information under a new OSHA electronic reporting rule.

This article discusses who must follow these new OSHA  requirements and how to navigate this critical development with specific steps on what you should do next.

Who Is Exempt from the OSHA Electronic Reporting Rule?

To begin, let’s clarify who is exempt from directly reporting information to OSHA:

  • Establishments with 19 or fewer employees in the previous calendar year, regardless of the industry.
  • Establishments within industries listed in Appendix A to Subpart B of OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, regardless of their size.
  • Establishments with between 20 and 249 employees in the previous calendar year that do not fall under industries listed in Appendix A to Subpart E of OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation.

It’s important to note that these exemptions apply at the establishment level, not to the entire firm, making the distinction between a single physical location (establishment) and a firm consisting of one or more establishments.

Who Must Follow the OSHA Electronic Reporting Rule?

The final OSHA recordkeeping requirements mandate specific establishments in high-hazard industries to submit information electronically. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Manufacturing
  • Grocery stores
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing
  • Storage
  • Performing arts
  • Retail

A comprehensive list is available in Appendix B to Subpart E of 29 CFR 1904.

Within those industries, establishments with 100 or more employees must submit data from their Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA annually, in addition to the existing submission of Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).

These requirements apply to both Federal OSHA-covered establishments and those covered by state-plan OSHA states.

How to Submit Electronically?

OSHA provides a secure online Injury Tracking Application (ITA) website offering three submission options (you can access the ITA website at OSHA ITA):

  1. Manual entry
  2. CSV file upload for processing multiple establishments
  3. Electronic data transmission via an API.

For guidance on submitting your organization’s information, OSHA offers answers to frequently asked questions, instructional directions, and videos on OSHA’s Information Page.

Also, please note that employers are required to use their company’s legal name when submitting information to maintain data integrity and facilitate analysis.

Objectives of the Final Rule

The updates to OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping reporting requirements are driven by several overarching objectives aimed at improving workplace safety and OSHA’s regulatory effectiveness:

Timely and Accurate Incident Reporting

By transitioning to electronic reporting, the final rule seeks to expedite submission, ensuring that injury and illness data reaches OSHA promptly. Faster submissions allow for quicker responses and intervention in the case of recurring safety issues within specific industries.

Data Standardization for Analysis

Requiring establishments to include their legal company name in electronic submissions helps standardize the collected data, facilitating more effective analyses and enabling OSHA to identify trends, patterns, and common risk factors across industries.

Enhancing OSHA’s Enforcement

Electronically submitting injury and illness information empowers OSHA to strengthen enforcement activities via a comprehensive dataset. With access to a centralized electronic repository, OSHA can more effectively target inspections and interventions in industries with higher incidences of workplace injuries and illnesses.

Fostering a Culture of Safety

The increased transparency and accessibility of injury and illness data may contribute to fostering a culture of safety and accountability within organizations. Knowing that their safety records are subject to electronic scrutiny may incentivize employers to prioritize and invest in robust safety measures.

Closing Thoughts on OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA electronic reporting rule for injury and illness information represents a significant step forward in enhancing workplace safety. By streamlining reporting processes, it aims to facilitate timely reporting, improve data quality, and empower OSHA with vital information for informed decision-making. While challenges such as data security and compliance exist for small businesses, it is crucial to collaborate and maximize the positive impact of this regulation on the nation’s workforce.

Stakeholders must collaborate to navigate these challenges and maximize the positive impact of this regulatory initiative on the well-being of the nation’s workforce. The mandate is clear: it is the law, and failure to comply may result in significant penalties, the issuance of violations, and targeted inspections.

If you need assistance with these new recordkeeping requirements, consider reaching out to Veriforce’s Professional Services.

Contact us today to learn more.

About the Author

James A. Junkin, MS, CSP, SMS, ASP, CSHO – CEO of Mariner-Gulf Consulting & Services, LLC; Chair of the Veriforce Strategic Advisory Board; 2022 Safety Professional of the Year (Runner Up); Master Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Podcaster, and Author in Occupational Safety and Health.


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