OSHA issued a final rule which became effective February 25, 2019, removing the end-of-year requirement for companies with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Logs of Work-Related Injuries and Illness) and Form 301 (Injuries and Illnesses Incident Report).
The new rule protects workers privacy. However, it does not alter the employer’s obligation to keep OSHA Forms 300 and 301 on site. OSHA will continue to request the review of these forms through inspections and such OSHA enforcement actions. (See 29 CFR Part 1904).
OSHA regulation 29 CFR Part 1904 requires employers in most industries, with more than 10 employees, to keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses at their establishment. Prior to the rule that became effective February 25, 2019, employers with 250 or more employees were required to keep and electronically submit OSHA injury and illness records. The electronic requirement has been eliminated because OSHA has determined that avoiding the risk of invading a worker’s privacy outweighs the data’s uncertain incremental benefits to enforcement.
It is estimated that OSHA will have annualized combined net savings to the private sector and to the government of $16 million. It is also believed that worker privacy could be compromised by a data breach, cyber-attack, or malware, and that collecting such large amounts of data electronically could incentivize cyber-attacks at the Department.