U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has officially suspended the Obama administration rule requiring companies to electronically file injury and illness reports.

The controversial rule was supposed to be in effect as of January 1, 2017, as we reported earlier in our Sur Advice Blog: “OSHA’s Big Change: What Does It Mean For You?” posted on February 2, 2017. However, OSHA did not launch the website that would have served as the portal for reporting.

The rule was vehemently opposed by multiple business groups. The Associated Builders & Contractors, the National Association of Home Builders and the Associated General Contractors of America all challenged the rule declaring it potentially damaging to the reputations of their members. Many companies expressed concern that information that is publicly disclosed could potentially be exaggerated and manipulated to possibly smear and damage reputations. Noting that accidents and injuries are a part of almost every workplace and that an accident or injury does not necessarily make the company an unsafe or dangerous place to work.

On the flip side, David Michaels, Head of OSHA from 2009 to 2017 says, “We know by making injury rates public some employers will work to prevent injuries because they want to be seen as safe employers and they want to be seen as good employers.” In addition an as we reported earlier, Michaels also says, “Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target compliance assistance and enforcement resources, and enable ‘big data’ researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer”.

OSHA intends to propose extending the date for reporting to July 1, 2017. According to OSHA spokeswoman Mandy Kraft, the agency has delayed the rule in order to address employers’ concerns about the rule. Approximately 441,000 workplaces are covered under the required reporting ruling making it a potentially massive measure. Again, click here  http://bit.ly/2ePzE4y for more information about all potentially effected industries.

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