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What information are employers required to submit to the OSHA?

While certain industries are prone to more risks and dangers, workers in West Virginia and elsewhere should understand that they are should be given safety and protection in the work environment, whether it is on a construction site, at a coal mine, or in a retail store or office. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, implements and oversees rules and regulations aimed at ensuring the health and safety of workers across the nation. Additionally, OSHA collects information and data to understand compliance with these rules and ways to improve safety in the workplace.

Whenever a workplace accident or workplace illness occurs, an OSHA investigation typically takes place. This helps establish the cause of the accident, if a work injury is in fact work-related, and whether an employer is subject to any fines or penalties for failing to comply with safety regulations.

What information are employers required to submit to OSHA? Based on a new rule issued by OSHA, most employers are required to electronically submit information about workplace injuries and illnesses to the government. In addition, OSHA intends to post this information on its public website.

What employers are required to submit electronic records? Workplaces with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep records of injuries and illnesses in the workplace must now submit that information electronically. This new rule also impacts workplaces with 20 to 249 employees that are classified in 67 specific industries that historically have a high rate of occupational related injuries and illnesses.

While the OSHA investigation process and information reporting rules help determine the cause of a workplace incident and address workplace safety issues, injured workers should understand that they are afforded certain legal rights. Workers' compensation benefits might be available to them, which could help them cover medical expenses and lost wages. Those harmed in a workplace incident should take steps to understand the options available to them.

Source: EHS Today, "OSHA Greatly Increases Workplace Injury Reporting Requirements," Edwin Foulke Jr., June 6, 2016

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