1. OSHA Background. On February 2, 1996 OSHA first published in the Federal Register the proposed rule for Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements; on February 29, 1996 OSHA published an addendum to the proposed rule: the executive summary of the Preliminary Economic Analysis. On January 19, 2001 the final rule was published in the Federal Register with an effective date of January 1, 2002.
The new rule maintains the basic structure and recordkeeping practices of the old system, but it employs new forms and somewhat different requirements for recording, maintaining, posting, retaining and reporting occupational injury and illness information. Information collection and reporting under the new rule will continue to be done on a calendar year basis.
On July 3, 2001 OSHA issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing it was proceeding with implementation of the new Recordkeeping Rule effective January 1, 2002, with two exceptions. OSHA proposed delaying for one year implementing the criteria covering work-related hearing loss, and the definition of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including the requirement to check the Hearing Loss and MSD columns on the OSHA 300 Log. Public comments were accepted on this proposal through September 4.
On October 12, 2001 OSHA issued a notice in the Federal Register delaying the effective date of three provisions of the final new rule published January 19, 2001, They are:
OSHA added a new paragraph (c) to '1904.10 establishing criteria for recording cases of work-related hearing loss during calendar year 2002. This section codified the enforcement policy in effect since 1991, under which employers must record work-related shifts in hearing of an average 25dB or more at 2000, 3000 and 4000 hertz in either ear. See Figure 1-1 at the end of this Chapter for the changes to the rule.
Page 5921 of the January 19, 2001 Federal Register notice states that the following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)/OSHA publications are withdrawn as of January 1, 2002: Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 1986; and A Brief Guide to Recordkeeping Requirements for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 1986. In addition, the notice states that all letters of interpretation regarding the old rule's injury and illness recordkeeping requirements are to be withdrawn and removed from the OSHA CD-ROM and the OSHA Internet site.
On January 19, 2001, OSHA issued a final rule amending its occupational safety and health regulations relating to recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses (29 CFR Parts 1904 and 1952). This final rule produces more useful injury and illness records, collects better information about the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses on a national basis, promotes improved employee awareness and involvement in the recording and reporting of job related injuries and illnesses, and simplifies the injury and illness recordkeeping system for employers.
Effective February 12, 2002, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review granted emergency status to the repeal of existing Regulation .19 under COMAR 09.12.20 Occupational Safety and Health and the repeal of existing Regulation .01 - .10 and the adoption of new Regulations .01 - .04 under COMAR 09.12.21 Employee Injury and Illness Records and Reports.
On April 23, 2002, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry repealed Regulation .19 under COMAR 09.12.20 Occupational Safety and Health, and repealed Regulations .01 CC .10 and adopted new Regulations .01 CC .04 under COMAR 09.12.21 Employee Injury and Illness Records and Reports. This action includes the adoption through incorporation by reference, with certain limited exceptions, of revisions under 29 CFR 1904 and 1952 on Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements; Final Rule (January 19, 2001).
3. Transition from the Old Rule. The transition from the old rule to the new rule includes training and outreach to familiarize employers and employees about the new forms and requirements, as well as informing employers in newly covered industries that they are now required to keep OSHA Part 1904 records. An additional transition issue for employers, who kept records under the old system and will also keep records under the new system, is how to handle the data collected under the old system during the transition year.
Sections 1904.43 and 1904.44 of the new rule address what employers must do to keep the required OSHA records during the first five years that the new system is in effect. This five-year period is called the transition period. The majority of the transition requirements apply only to the first year, when the data from the previous year (collected under the old rule) must be summarized and posted during the month of February. For the remainder of the transition period, the employer is required to retain the records created under the old rule for five years and provide access to those records for the government, the employer's employees, and employee representatives.
The new rule maintains the basic structure and recordkeeping practices of the old system, but uses new forms and somewhat different requirements for recording, maintaining, posting, retaining and reporting occupational injury and illness information. Information collection and reporting under the new rule will continue to be done on a calendar year basis.
In the transition from the old rule to the new rule, OSHA intends employers to make a clean break with the old system. On January 1, 2002 the new rule will replace the old rule, and OSHA will discontinue the use of all previous forms, interpretations and guidance. The following timetable shows the sequence of events and postings that will occur:
1. OSHA 200 Summary. The new rule's requirements for certification by a company executive and a three-month posting period will not apply to the posting of the OSHA 200 Log and Summary for the year 2001.
2. Retention and Updating Old Forms. Employers still must retain the OSHA records from 2001 and previous years for five years from the end of the year to which they refer. The employer must provide copies of the retained records to authorized government representatives, and to his or her employees and employee representatives, as required by the new rule.
OSHA will not require employers to update their old OSHA 200 and OSHA 101 forms for years before 2002.
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