New OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Rule Creates Series of Problems
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) released the following statement in reaction to the release of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, commonly referred to as “electronic recordkeeping.”
“OSHA created a rule that does nothing to achieve its stated goal of reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and ignored the concerns from industry that this rulemaking will have unintended negative consequences,” said ABC Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “Associated Builders and Contractors is committed to working with our members and OSHA to create safe construction work environments. However, in departing from its current ’no fault’ recordkeeping system, OSHA has empowered itself to disseminate records and data to the public that fails to show the complete narrative of a company’s safety record or its efforts to promote a safe work environment.
“Additionally, OSHA has exceeded its authority by forcing companies to reveal confidential business details to the public,” said Sizemore. “In the past, OSHA has recognized sensitive information, such as the number of hours worked by employees on a project, as ‘privileged and confidential.’ However, in departing from this opinion OSHA will give competitors undue access to business processes that should remain confidential.”
ABC has been an active participant throughout the electronic recordkeeping rulemaking process. ABC has:
- Participated in a Jan. 2014 public meeting held by OSHA to explain its concerns with the proposed rule as a member of the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS)
- Submitted comments in March 2014 along with more than 900 member companies asking OSHA to withdraw the rule as proposed
- Submitted comments in Oct. 2014 along with other members of CWS