APCA strongly opposes OSHA's revisions to the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule. Under OSHA’s new rule, companies in construction and certain other designated industries will be required to electronically submit OSHA form 300 and 301 information annually if they have more than 100 employees and form 300A information if they have 20 or more employees.
While APCA believes in the importance of workplace safety and transparency, OSHA’s changes to the rule raise several critical issues. Under this rule, companies will be required to publicly disclose the sensitive employee information and private medical records recorded on these forms, a government-mandated breach of confidentiality and betrayal of the trust that should exist between employer and employee. Online reporting of the information poses a cybersecurity threat, as sensitive information could be accessed by bad actors. And OSHA’s stated intention to make this information accessible online to the general public is troubling as well. Even with redacted information, there is a risk of individuals and specific injuries or illnesses being identified, which could lead to privacy breaches and potential harm to employees and employers alike.
Worryingly, this information will also be made available in such a way that it is easy to take specific injuries or illnesses out of context and thus paint a misleading picture of a contractor’s safety record and workplace. Unions and union-friendly organizations are free to use reported data out of context and without regard to a company’s actual safety record to paint a contractor’s workplace as “unsafe” as a part of a unionization campaign or for other purposes. We are forced to ask – if this rule does nothing to help improve employee safety, who is it for?
Many others have spotlighted the above concerns, and changes to these requirements were made in 2019 with good reason to address them. APCA members have robust and strong safety programs – at the end of the day, we all want everyone to come home safe and unharmed. We remain committed to working with industry partners and OSHA to improve workplace safety; however, the changes to the injury reporting rule do nothing to achieve that goal and could harm both our members and the workforce as a whole. We urge OSHA to reconsider the changes to address our very real concerns and to withdraw the changes in advance of their effective date of January 1, 2024.