Time to File Form 300A

It’s that time of year again (January 2 – March 2) when employers with more than 250 employees — as well as those with 20-249 employees in specified industries — are required to submit Form 300A to OSHA. Form 300A summarizes an employer’s injury and illness records — Forms 300 and 301 —for the previous year. All the information employers need to understand OSHA’s current recordkeeping expectations and submission requirements is easily found online.

What’s important is to send it in on time.

As I noted last spring, OSHA is getting more assertive in pursuing non-responders. They have developed an internal reporting system that matches “newly opened inspections against a list of potential non-responders to OSHA’s collection of Form 300A data through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA).” The system automatically reports all matches to the appropriate area office, and “if the establishment on the list is the same establishment where the inspection was opened, OSHA will immediately issue a citation “for failure to submit OSHA Form 300A Summary data.”

Recent ITA Upgrade

Most employers impacted by this annual reporting responsibility know that they are required to use OSHA’s ITA to submit their data. Some employers may not realize that this system has recently been upgraded as part of the Department of Labor’s “information technology modernization and security enhancement efforts.” As a result of this upgrade, OSHA has transitioned its login procedures to a centralized login portal: Login.gov. All current and new OSHA ITA account holders must connect this account to a Login.gov account. Employers with an existing ITA account must use the same email address for the Login.gov account.

A single Login.gov account will allow users to access multiple government agencies through one account and password. Employers should remember that this apparent convenience and accessibility to various government agencies also work the other way. The technology upgrades the federal government has deployed also make it easier for multiple federal agencies to monitor and track employers.

Rule change on hold for now

OSHA’s plans to change the rules about recordkeeping and reporting, announced in March 2022, have yet to become effective. Although final action was anticipated in December 2022, the fact that it didn’t happen may be a good sign. OSHA extended the comment period late last spring, and many industry groups objected to specific provisions of the proposed revised standard.

One of the key objections to the proposed rule change is OSHA’s clear intention to make the data it collects public — including all data from employer 300 logs and 301 forms. This alone makes OSHA’s reporting plans problematic from a legal perspective. Most industry groups believe that the publication of establishment-specific and case-specific injury and illness data exceeds OSHA’s authority under the OSH Act and could lead to the abuse of confidential and proprietary information.

We shall see what happens, but for the time being, some rethinking could be happening at OSHA. Most analysts suspect this reprieve — the delay in publishing a final, revised recordkeeping and reporting rule — is only temporary.

In the meantime

Besides getting Form 300A to OSHA by the March 2 deadline and ensuring your ITA account is in sync with new government login protocols, employers are encouraged to be extra diligent in their recordkeeping in the months ahead. Evaluate all illnesses and injuries carefully to ensure that OSHA standards require they be recorded and reported.

Remember that OSHA plans to use all the data it receives to prioritize inspection targets. Use language carefully.

Don’t hesitate to call Orr & Reno if you have questions about your reporting obligations or have received a citation for any reason.

About the Author: James Laboe

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