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OSHA propses change to injury reporting rules

Employers in California and throughout the country had until July 1 to electronically submit OSHA Form 300 and OSHA Form 301. However, OSHA has announced that the deadline will not be enforced in 2018, and it also announced that the filing date for 2019 would be March 2. After submitting the forms, they are published on OSHA's website with sensitive employee information redacted to protect worker privacy.

A proposed new rule would require that companies in certain industries that had 20 or more employees to electronically file Form 300A. This is a general summary of workplace injuries and illnesses without any need to submit incident reports. OSHA argued that the new rule was necessary because it could still be easy to identify employees based on knowing when and where an accident occurred. It was also acknowledged by OSHA that the information could be accessible through a Freedom of Information Act request.

As part of the rule proposal process, OSHA has asked for comments related to protecting worker privacy and if it can do anything to reduce those risks. In moving to rescind the Obama-era reporting rules, OSHA said that it couldn't necessarily use the information it was collecting because of its limited resources. It was also mentioned that employers paid about $8.2 million to comply with the reporting requirement.

Those who are hurt while on the job may receive workers' compensation benefits to help pay medical bills and recoup a percentage of lost wages. Individuals may be entitled to these benefits on a permanent basis depending on the severity of the injury incurred. An attorney may help with the application process and may also provide advocacy in the event that the claim is disputed or denied.

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