OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Deadline Is Fast Approaching: Are You Ready?
An important deadline is upon us: March 2, 2020, is the deadline for electronically reporting OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2019.
In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) amended its recordkeeping rule to require certain employers to submit data from their Form 300 logs, Form 301, and Form 300A summaries to the agency electronically. However, in response to the continuing concerns of many stakeholders about the effects of the amended recordkeeping and reporting requirements, the portions of the rule that required the filing of Form 300 logs and a Form 301 were put on hold.
In 2019, OSHA amended its electronic recordkeeping rule again to eliminate the requirement for such employers to electronically submit their Form 300 logs and a Form 301. The amended rule also requires those employers to submit their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN). Now, by March 2 of every year, covered employers must electronically submit their Form 300A information along with their EIN but not their Form 300 logs or Forms 301.
OSHA’s amended electronic recordkeeping rule does not affect other injury and illness recordkeeping requirements. The requirement to keep and maintain Form 300 logs, a Form 301, and Form 300A summaries for five years has not changed. Moreover, employers must still post their Form 300A summaries from February 1 to April 30 every year in a conspicuous location at each worksite.
Who Must Submit a Form 300A to OSHA Electronically?
Only employers with establishments in the following two categories are required to submit a Form 300A:
establishments that have 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records; and
establishments that have between 20 and 249 employees classified in certain historically high-hazard industries, including the construction, manufacturing, utilities, and healthcare industries that are also currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
This requirement includes establishments in states that have their own occupational safety and health agency (State Plan), even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of its own state rule.
Covered employers must electronically submit Form 300A data for calendar year 2019 through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA) by March 2, 2020. If you miss the March 2 deadline, the ITA will accept Forms 300A through the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2020). However, covered employers that fail to timely submit their Form 300A data may be subject to inspections and citations.
OSHA views Form 300A data as confidential commercial information, and therefore will not release it to the public.
The electronic reporting requirements are based on the size of the establishment. An “establishment” is defined as a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. A company may comprise one or more establishments. For electronic reporting purposes, the size of the establishment for calendar year 2019 is based on the establishment’s peak employment during 2019. Each individual employed in the establishment at any time during the calendar year counts as one employee, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers.
The electronic reporting requirements are based on the industry classification of the establishment, not the industry classification of the company.
Each establishment that meets the size and/or industry reporting criteria must submit a Form 300A electronically even if there were no recordable injuries or illnesses during the reference year. Those establishments would report zeroes for their injury and illness counts.
A company with more than one establishment must submit establishment-specific Form 300A data for each establishment that meets the size and/or industry reporting criteria. The data may be submitted using one ITA account.
Just as a third party may maintain the injury and illness records for an employer, a third party may submit the data for that employer. As with recordkeeping, however, responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the data lies with the employer, not the third party.