Workplace injuries and illnesses are an unfortunate reality across many industries. To better understand these incidents and protect America’s workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented new electronic reporting rules. These requirements will provide OSHA, employers, employees and the public with more robust data to identify hazards, patterns and solutions.

The New Reporting Requirements

OSHA’s new rule focuses on high-hazard industries with 100+ employees. Specifically, establishments meeting both criteria must electronically submit detailed 300 Log and 301 Incident Report data for each recordable injury or illness. This includes over 50,000 establishments, capturing information on around 750,000 cases annually.

Affected establishments already track this information internally. Now, they must provide legal company names and submit data through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The first deadline is March 2, 2024 for 2023 data. Thereafter, the annual deadline is March 2.

OSHA estimates an average compliance cost of $136 per year. However, improved data should lead to better interactions with establishments to address hazards. Ultimately, this will enhance worker safety and health.

Benefits of Expanded Injury and Illness Data

For OSHA, establishment-specific, case-specific details will spotlight workplaces facing particular risks. Rather than relying solely on industry-level trends, OSHA can pinpoint problematic sites and use enforcement/outreach to mitigate dangers. Granular data by occupation and industry should also improve statistical analysis.

Employers, employees and the public will gain transparency into safety at establishments. This allows more informed decisions about workplace risks and conditions. Researchers also benefit with richer insights into injury and illness patterns and hazardous scenarios. Overall, the public availability of more robust data is expected to steadily reduce incidents over time.

Protecting Worker Privacy

Despite publishing expansive data, OSHA is taking multiple steps to protect individual privacy:

  • No collection of worker names/addresses
  • Conversion of birth dates to ages
  • Removal of directly identifying personal details
  • Withholding of certain sensitive information from publication
  • Use of automation to scrub any remaining private data

In this manner, the public gains injury analysis at the establishment-level while individual workers remain anonymous.

OSHA’s Continuing Mission

As these new reporting requirements demonstrate, OSHA remains committed to its foundational mission of ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for all. The agency sets and enforces standards while providing valuable education and assistance to employees and employers alike.

With more comprehensive data now being reported electronically, OSHA moves one step closer toward understanding and reducing occupational injuries and fatalities. By tracking problematic establishments and enabling better decisions, risks can be tackled proactively. In this manner, step-by-step progress continues toward safer work environments across all industries.