In a Nov. 22 press release, the Occupational Safety and Health announced it extended the deadline for electronic submissions to the Injury Tracking Application to Dec. 15, 2017. The due date was set for Dec. 1, however, the organization stated the two-week pushback gives employers more time to familiarize themselves with the ITA and how to transfer data through it.
The data submission mandate was part of the final health and safety-based Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule. This portion of the rule requires applicable business owners to submit injury and illness data for 2016, which they were already mandated to keep and send to OSHA through various online forms. The original deadline was slated for July 1 but was extended to allow President Donald Trump's administration to review the reporting requirements.
On Aug. 1 OSHA's reporting system officially went livebutwastemporarily shut down due to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team's warning of a potential breach. The National Information Technology Center eventually discovered that there was no breach and, according to Safety and Health Magazine, OSHA reactivated the submission system two weeks later. Another reason for the current extension relates to the downtime the ITA experienced in August that prevented employers from submitting their data.
Some states were granted exemptions from submitting data through the online portal, according to the OSHA press release. Through OSHA-approved State Plans, businesses in the following states are not required to adhere to ITA submission rules, unless under federal jurisdiction: California, Minnesota, Maryland, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Additionally, state and local government-run companies in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey and New York also do not have to submit injury and illness data.
The organization also noted it would reviewing other provisions of the general rule and that in 2018 it could revise or remove certain portions of it. Safety and Health Magazine reported that in a Nov. 15 hearing before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Alexander Acosta, Department of Labor Secretary, said OSHA is reconsidering the segments of the regulation that do not maintain privacy.
"We are balancing the issues of privacy - because it was asking for some information that was very detailed and that identified individuals - with the [need] to get information so that we can engage in appropriate and targeted enforcement," Acosta said.
Having a software system that works with OSHA's new electronic reporting requirements will be very important. Luckily, Dakota's incident management application does and provides streamlined incident reporting. Read our recent article entitled Dakota Supports New OSHA Electronic Injury Tracking Reporting Requirements or simply contact us to learn more.
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