OSHA Finalizes Requirement for Electronic Reporting of Injuries/Illnesses
Home care, hospice providers with 250 or more employees must comply
May 19, 2016 09:46 AM
Under existing law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers with more than 10 employees in most industries (including home health care) to maintain record of occupational injuries and illnesses at their organizations and must have them available in the event of an OSHA inspection. Specifically, employers covered by these rules must record each applicable employee injury and illness on the “Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” (OSHA Form 300) or an equivalent form and prepare a supplementary “Injury and Illness Incident Report” (OSHA Form 301) or equivalent that provides additional details about each case reported on the “Log”. Annually these employers are also required to prepare and post a “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” (OSHA Form 300A) in a visible location in the workplace.
Under a rule (Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses; Final Rule) finalized May 12, 2016, employers in covered industries (including home care) with 250 or more employees will be required to electronically submit information from their records of occupational injuries and illnesses to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on an annual basis. Further, employers with between 20 and 249 employees in certain designated industries will also be required to electronically submit information from their occupational injury and illness records to OSHA or OSHA’s designee on an annual basis. Finally, the rule requires that in cases where an employer is notified by OSHA it must electronically submit information from its injury and illness records. As part of the final rule OSHA indicates that it plans to post the establishment-specific injury and illness data it collects on its public website at www.osha.gov.
The new requirements take effect Aug. 10, 2016, with phased in data submissions beginning in 2017. These requirements do not add to or change an employer's obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation.
As part of the proposed rule issued in 2014, OSHA’s standard for determining which industries would fall under the “designated industries” standard (and would, therefore, be subject to the electronic reporting requirements if they employed 20 - 249 individuals) included all entities classified under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 621610 -- Home Health Care Services. These include:
Home care of elderly, medical
Home health agencies
Home health care agencies
Home nursing services (except private practices)
Hospice care services, in home
Nurse associations, visiting
Nursing agencies, primarily providing home nursing services
Visiting nurse associations
However, as part of the final rule OSHA modified its rule for establishing what industries fall under the “designated industries” category, and entities under NAICS code 621610 will NOT be subject to the electronic filing and public reporting requirement. This means that home health, home care, and hospice organizations with 249 employees or fewer will not be subject to the new requirement. In comments on the proposed rule, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) expressed concern about the new requirements based on potential costs to home care and hospice organizations, and the potential for the public to misinterpret publicly reported data on workplace illnesses and injuries.