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Cal/OSHA Approves Emergency Regulation

Posted by Leslie Ruhland on Dec 10, 2018 7:36:52 PM
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California employers are now required to comply with certain federal OSHA record keeping and reporting rules beginning this year.

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A significant change has been implemented that certain California employers must follow now in order to comply with OSHA’s federal electronic record keeping rule. These employers must now submit their Form 300A data online to the federal agency.

Cal/OSHA, California’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health, had issued a notice on October 18, 2018 which was followed on November 1 by the state’s Office of Administrative Law approval.

On October 18, Cal/OSHA issued a proposed emergency action noted to amend sections 14300.35 and 14300.41 of title 8 of the California Code of Regulations. The reason for the amendments is to ensure that California's record keeping requirements conform to those of the federal OSHA program.

The proposed regulatory language and Finding of Emergency can be reviewed on the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) website.

Cal/OSHA Opts to Conform With Federal Requirements

The notice of action was then following on November 1, 2018, with an approval of the emergency action by the Office of Administrative Law. This change requires that certain employers in California to submit Form 300A data covering calendar year 2017 by December 31, 2018. Those employers can find the relevant instructions posted at federal OSHA's ITA website.

The employers affected by this change include organizations with 250 or more employees, unless otherwise exempted by law (according to section 14300.2 of title 8 of the California Code of Regulations), and organizations with 20 to 249 employees in certain industries that have historically high occupational injury and illness rates. The specific industries are listed in Appendix H of the emergency regulations.

Both entities must submit their summary of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses for calendar year 2017 by December 31, 2018.

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Ramp-Up to the Emergency Action

On April 30, 2018, OSHA posted a "trade release" that required affected employers to submit their injury and illness data in the federal OSHA Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal. This requirement was effective even if the employer was covered by a state plan that had not completed adoption of their own state rule. OSHA noted that employers in the seven states that, at the time, did not have electronic reporting regulations

California had not yet adopted its own state rule and, while some states took issue with the OSHA mandate, Cal/OSHA advised affected California employers to comply with the federal directive to provide Form 300A data covering calendar year 2017 by July 1, 2018. The calendar year 2018 Form 300A data deadline moves to March 2 beginning next year.

Following this, on July 27, 2018, OSHA then posted another "trade release” in which it proposed to amend its record keeping regulation by rescinding the requirement for organizations with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301, also known as the Injury and Illness Incident Report and Injury and Illness Incident Report.

These organizations will still be required to submit information from their Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) for the previous calendar year.

According to a press release published in the Sun News Report,

Cal/OSHA will proceed with the formal rulemaking process to make the emergency regulations permanent by submitting the required documentation to OAL. The rulemaking process will include a public comment period and public hearing. The dates for the comment period and public hearing will be posted on Cal/OSHA’s proposed regulation page.

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Topics: Cal/OSHA, OSHA, reporting requirements, HR compliance

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