Overview of Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) / OSHA Injury & Illness Recordkeeping
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) generally requires covered employers to report workplace injuries and illnesses and prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for administering the recordkeeping system established by the OSH Act.
The OSH Act and recordkeeping regulations (29 CFR 1904 and 1952) provide reporting requirements for all employers covered under the OSH Act and specific recordkeeping requirements for certain employers. Employers with 10 or fewer employees and whose establishments are classified as a partially exempt industry are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements.
These requirements provide the framework for the nationwide occupational safety and health recording system. Under this system, the information recorded by employers must be uniform and accurate to ensure consistency and validity of the statistical data.
OSHA also uses this data for a number of functions that impact employers, such as ensuring the consistency and validity of the statistical data which is used by OSHA for many purposes, including:
- Inspection targeting;
- Performance measurement under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA);
- Standards development;
- Resource allocation;
- Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) eligibility; and
- “Low-hazard” industry exemptions.
The data also aids employers, employees and compliance officers in analyzing the safety and health environment at the employer’s establishment and is the source of information for the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Annual Survey.
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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