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OSHA Workplace Injury/Illness Tracking System Holds Companies Publicly Accountable

Jason Reese

Synopsis

  • The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, estimates that 84,300 Hoosier workers experienced an OSHA-recordable injury or illness in 2016.
  • In August 2017, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) made public the online Injury Tracking Application and reporting system to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses.
  • The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) adopts federal OSHA regulations identically.
  • This simple change is said to improve safety for workers across the country, including right here at home in Indiana, with the belief that making injury information publicly available will “nudge” employers to focus more on safety.
  • The move also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness in fear of retaliation.
  • All Indiana employers are expected to comply with the newly issued rule and should be using the online tracking system.
  • Employees have the right to a safe workplace. Injured employees may be entitled to receive workers compensation, or work comp benefits.

Will Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Tracking Tool Keep Indiana Employers Focused On Safety?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report from 2016, estimates that 84,300 Hoosier workers experienced an OSHA-recordable injury or illness in 2016. The recent report concluded that Indiana’s rate of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses dropped to 3.5 per 100 full-time workers; the lowest in state history.

Some argue that the year-old rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in partnership with the Indiana Occupation Safety and Health Administration, may help keep those numbers low in the future by making injury information publicly available to “nudge” employers to focus on safety. On August 1, 2017, OSHA made public the online Injury Tracking Application and reporting system and the attorneys at Wagner Reese want to take this opportunity to check-in with Hoosier workers and ensure the tool is being used to protect employee rights as they relate to workplace injuries and illnesses.

The hope is that the tracking of injury and illness will not only improve safety for workers but also ensure that workers will not fear retaliation for reporting injuries or illnesses. In addition, employers can use this information to benchmark their own safety performance with competitors in their industry, compare injury rates, and set workplace safety goals streamlined within their industry.

In additions, once the data is compiled and conclusions are made, IOSHA can create better enforcement and compliance assistance resources. Some of the data will also be posted for public review on the OSHA website. Public disclosure may encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.

Is Your Employer In Compliance With The Tracking System?

Today, all Indiana employers are expected to be complying and should be using the online system. Employers can review the following information to better understand where their reporting responsibilities sit.

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation must electronically submit to OSHA some of the information from the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300), the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A), and the Injury and Illness Incident Report (OSHA Form 301).
  • Establishments with 20-249 employeesin certain high-risk industries must electronically submit to OSHA some of the information from the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A).
  • Establishments with fewer than 20 employeesat all times during the year do not have to routinely submit information electronically to OSHA.

Indiana Work Injury Attorneys

Within Indianapolis and the entire state of Indiana, hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers go to physically demanding jobs and jobs that have potentially dangerous and harmful conditions, especially if safety measures are not followed. Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your Indiana work injury claim with years of experience and proven results. Connect with us by submitting our online form or if you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.

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