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RIMS, the risk management society, is advising the US risk management community to review and prepare for new rules regarding electronic recordkeeping of workplace injuries. The new rules, released by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), will take effect from August 2016.

In 2014, RIMS issued an official comment letter on proposed OSHA rules regarding recordkeeping requirements for workplace injuries.  While the Administration did acknowledge the Society’s recommendations as noted in the final ruling, some of the concerns raised by Society were not addressed. RIMS intends to continue to work with the Administration as they develop the final electronic reporting process.

RIMS concerns regarding OSHA’s new rules include:

  • The cause of a workplace injury will be ambiguous, potentially creating misconceptions about an organization’s workplace safety;
  • Publishing employee injuries can increase litigation against an organization;
  • Publishing employee injuries can be used against an organization by industry competitors;
  • OSHA’s web-based reporting application presents additional cyber exposures;
  • Employers will, most likely, stop trending minor incidents to lower incident rates.

“Risk practitioners are always eager to implement new systems and processes to help streamline their programs and create more transparency for senior leadership and stakeholders,” said RIMS President Julie Pemberton. “RIMS appreciates the work that OSHA has done to make claims reporting more transparent but, like all new systems, there are challenges that risk professionals will need to overcome. We look forward to continuing our work with the agency to ensure that organizations’ ability to effectively and efficiently manage risk are not compromised.”

The new reporting requirements will be phased in over two years with organizations with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation. They will be required to submit information by July 2017 and again in July 2018. Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, the submission date will change to March 2nd. Organizations with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries must submit on a similar schedule.

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