OSHA Revisits Illness, Injury Recordkeeping Requirements

A public comment period on an amended Occupational Safety & Health Administration rule, where the agency clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness over a five-year period, runs through the end of September. OSHA proposes no new compliance obligations and does not call for any injury or illness records beyond existing requirements.


“Accurate records are not simply paperwork, but have an important, in fact life-saving purpose,” says 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 a U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision spotlighting recordable injury or illness recordkeeping requirements. The proposed rule aims to reverse the Volks II decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court stated OSHA must stick to a six-month statute of limitations when citing a company for failure to record an injury or illness and cannot treat such an event as a continuing violation throughout the five-year recordkeeping period.