OSHA focuses on work-related injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued a "Notice of Proposed Rule Making" to ensure employers are aware of their responsibility when it comes to safe work environments.

OSHA officials said the rule-making clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep the records.

“Accurate records are not simply paperwork but have an important, in fact life-saving, purpose,” Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said. “They will enable employers, employees, researchers and the government to identify and eliminate the most serious workplace hazards — ones that have already caused injuries and illnesses to occur.”

He added that OSHA was issuing the proposed rule in light of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks) to clarify its long-standing position that the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness.

The proposed amendments add no new compliance obligations; the proposal would not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.

The proposed rule will be published Wednesday in the issue of the Federal Register.

Members of the public can submit, until Sept. 27, 2015, written comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

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