Employer Reporting of Workplace Injury and Illness in the United States – 5/24/2017

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  • Robert Harrison, M.D., MPH, Medical Officer at the California Department of Public Health
  • Jordan Barab, MA, publisher of “Confined Space”
  • Michael Kirkpatrick, J.D., Attorney, Public Citizen Litigation Group


The surveillance of work-related injuries and illnesses relies in part on the collection and reporting of injury and disease by employers. On May 12, 2016, Federal OSHA issued a rule requiring certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA; inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses free from retaliation; and not deter or discourage employees from reporting. The rule also incorporates existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses (see https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/). This new rule has been challenged by industry groups in Oklahoma and Texas courts, and Federal OSHA has not yet implemented a mechanism for reporting. CSTE has joined with several other groups to file a motion to intervene as defendants in these two cases.  

The importance of the new employer reporting requirement and impact on occupational health surveillance in the United States will be discussed.

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