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OSHA Clarifies 'Ongoing Obligation' to Record and Maintain Work-Related Illnesses and Injuries

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

OSHA recently issued a final rule amending its recordkeeping regulations to help clarify that the duty of making and maintaining accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses is an ‘ongoing obligation’. The amendments in the rule, effective January 18th, 2017, explain that “the duty to record an injury or illness continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness; the duty does not expire just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so.”

This rule is in response to a prior case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Occupational Safety and Health Act does not permit OSHA to impose a continuing recordkeeping obligation on employers. While OSHA disagrees with reading of the law, they agree that the regulations were not clear with respect to the continuing nature of employers’ recordkeeping obligations.

The amendments add no new compliance obligations. For more information on this final rule, see the Federal Register Publication.

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