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OSHA Clarifies Employers’ Responsibility to Maintain Accurate Injury and Illness Logs

OSHA has issued a proposed rulemaking clarifying the ongoing obligation of employers to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.

July 28, 2015 Sandy Smith

OSHA .docx

OSHA on July 28 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that 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,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “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.”

OSHA is issuing this 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.

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