In a recent article in Workplace HR & Safety magazine, a workplace safety expert from MSDSonline offers his views and advice on a number of OSHA initiatives related to incident reporting and recordkeeping. P.J. Schoeny identifies five items that "could have profound repercussions for employers in the near future." Here are some key points from the article:
is the Injury and Illness Prevention Program and is described by OSHA
as "a proactive process to help employers find and fix workplace hazards
before workers are hurt." OSHA Director Dr. David Michaels has
repeatedly said in recent years that implementing an I2P2 standard is
one of the agencies top priorities.
2. Modernization of OSHA's Injury and Illness Data Collection Process
is working on an important update to its method of collecting data.
This initiative could easily lead to a requirement that every employer
provide injury and illness information directly to OSHA on an annual,
semi-annual, or even quarterly basis.
3. Recordkeeping Update
issued a proposed rule in June of 2011 and is currently working on the
final rule. Specifically, OSHA is working to move from the Standard
Industrial Classification (SIC) system to the North American Industry
Classification System (NAICS).
4. Crackdown on Incentives
March, OSHA issued a memo to keep their offices on the lookout for
incentive programs that reward employees for not getting injured. Given
OSHA's crackdown on employer incentive programs, employers should review
their own safety programs to ensure they are in alignment with OSHA's
view on the practice.
5. Whistleblower Programs
OSHA has turned up the heat on whistleblowing in recent years. One
of the key changes at OSHA in 2012 is the placing of the Whistleblower
Protection Program under direct control of OSHA Director Dr. Michaels.
In recent months, OSHA has revised guidelines for investigating
whistleblowing cases and has made a concerted effort to build awareness
and promote its resources for whistleblowers - including a dedicated
website at www.whistleblowers.gov.