Washington Post (05/17/17) Eilperin, Juliet
On May 17, the U.S. Department of Labor suspended an Obama-era rule requiring that companies electronically report their injury and illness records. The agency's move effectively prevents these records from being publicly disclosed for the immediate future. The 2016 rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was challenged in court by several business groups, which also lobbied the administration to scrap the rule on the grounds that it could unfairly damage the reputation of some of their members. The rule took effect on Jan. 1 and covered nearly 441,000 workplaces. Employers were required to submit their summary data by July 1, but OSHA never launched the website for companies to do so. Language was posted by OSHA on May 17, along with an existing fact sheet, indicating that it "is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017, date by which certain employers are required to submit the information" to the agency. OSHA spokesperson Mandy Kraft said that the agency delayed the rule to address employers' "concerns about meeting their reporting obligations" in time.