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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

OSHA Suspends Forms 300 and 301 Electronic Reporting

On July 30, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to eliminate electronic reporting requirements for data from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. OSHA initially established these requirements— which apply to establishments with 250 or more employees—in a final rule issued in 2016.

Covered establishments must still submit electronic reports on data from Form 300A through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The next deadline for this reporting is    March 2, 2019. The proposed rule would require covered establishments to submit their federal employer identification numbers (EINs) along with their Form 300A information.  

  • Covered establishments must submit data from Form 300A through the ITA every year, but should not electronically submit data from Forms 300 and 301.
  • Anyone who is interested in submitting comments on the proposed rule must do so by Sept. 28, 2018.

On May 12, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule that requires certain establishments to electronically submit information about work-related injuries, illnesses and incidents through the agency’s ITA website every year. Under the final rule:

  • Establishments that were already required to create and maintain OSHA injury and illness records and have 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300A, 300 and 301; and
  • Establishments that have between 20 and 249 employees and belong to a high-risk industry must electronically submit information from Form 300A.

The final rule’s deadline for submitting 2017 data from these forms was July 1, 2018. In June 2018, however, OSHA announced that it will not:

  • Enforce the July 1, 2018, deadline for information from Forms 300 and 301; or
  • Accept any electronic reports on information from Forms 300 and 301.

The June 2018 announcement confirmed that all establishments subject to the electronic reporting rule must still use the ITA to submit information from Form 300A.

2018 Proposed Rule

Citing worker privacy issues related to information from Forms 300 and 301, OSHA’s proposed rule formally announces that the agency intends to remove the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from Forms 300 and 301 every year. Under the proposed rule, these establishments (along with other establishments that are subject to OSHA’s final rule) would only be required to electronically submit information from Form 300A.

According to the proposed rule, OSHA believes this change is necessary because electronic submission of data from Forms 300 and 301 allows the federal government to collect information that workers may deem sensitive, such as descriptions of their injuries and the body parts affected. As records in federal possession, this information would put worker privacy at risk because it could be subject to disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

OSHA explained that this risk does not justify stopping its electronic collection of Form 300A summaries, because the Form 300A information offers significant enforcement value with little privacy risk. OSHA uses this information to help it identify and target establishments with high rates of work-related injuries and illnesses and to develop and assess intervention programs.

OSHA also proposed changing the electronic reporting rule to require covered establishments to submit their EINs along with their Form 300A information. OSHA believes this requirement could reduce or eliminate duplicative reporting and increase the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ability to use OSHA-collected data for purposes of publishing its annual Survey of Occupational Injury and Illness (SOII). OSHA uses data from the SOII to help determine how to improve safety programs and to measure the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s effectiveness in reducing work-related injuries and illnesses.

Request for Public Comments

OSHA’s proposed rule invites the public to submit comments on the benefits and disadvantages of removing the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit data from Forms 300 and 301 on an annual basis. OSHA also invites comments on its proposal to add a requirement for employers to submit their EINs along with their injury and illness data.

The specific questions that OSHA is seeking comments on, along with instructions for submitting comments, are outlined in the proposal. The agency will accept public comments on these issues until Sept. 28, 2018.

Impact on Employers

While OSHA’s proposed rule is under consideration, the agency will not enforce the July 1, 2018, deadline for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit the data from Forms 300 and 301. For 2017 data from Form 300A, OSHA indicated that it will continue accepting electronic submissions after the July 1, 2018, deadline, but will mark these submissions as late. The next deadline for electronically submitting data from Form 300A is March 2, 2019.

More Information

Contact Scurich Insurance or visit OSHA’s ITA website for more information regarding electronic reporting.

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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Stop Hackers With Strong Password Management

One of the first things hackers do when they attempt to infiltrate computer systems is to try using any common or stolen passwords. And, if your employees aren’t careful to use effective passwords and change them regularly, both they and your business can be exposed to data breaches, phishing schemes and other costly cyber attacks.

Most people don’t manage their passwords effectively because of the misconception that strong passwords need to be long and difficult to remember. However, there are a few simple steps you can relay to your employees in order to ensure that passwords are both hard for hackers to figure out and easy to manage:

Build passwords around familiar phrases. Long passwords are harder for computer programs to guess, so using a long but familiar phrase, like a favorite song lyric or quote, is a great start to making a password.

Use a password management service. Many people write their passwords down on paper or in a word processor, but keeping them anywhere insecure makes it easier for hackers to access them. Instead, encourage your employees to use a reputable password management service to keep all of their login credentials safe. Contact us today for more resources that can help improve your cyber security, including our new “Employee Cyber Training – Passwords” video.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

OSHA Proposes New Rule to Ensure Crane Operators are Qualified

OSHA Proposes New Rule to Ensure Crane Operators are Qualified

Although cranes are indispensable on many construction sites, they require a large amount of training and expertise in order to operate safely. As a result, OSHA recently proposed a rule to ensure crane operators are qualified to operate equipment.

The proposed rule’s main provisions would clarify certification requirements and reinstate an employer’s duty to ensure employees are qualified:

  • Certification categories would change to let more operators meet OSHA requirements
  • A requirement for operator certifications to include crane lifting capacity would be discontinued
  • Employer requirements for ensuring crane operators have sufficient training, certification and licensing would be extended and clarified

OSHA also published a final rule extending the operator certification compliance date until Nov. 10, 2018, to address employer concerns related to the cranes and derricks in construction standard.

For more information on the proposed rule, see OSHA’s full publication in the Federal Register.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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