By Jora Trang, Managing Attorney
Back in January, Worksafe urged California to resist the Trump Administration’s attempts to roll back key provisions of a critical 2016 OSHA regulation regarding injury and illness record-keeping and reporting. These provisions require establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to a publicly available database.
Had that rule been fully implemented, workers, worker advocates, and the public would have been able to access extensive and detailed injury information to help them identify and prevent dangerous health and safety practices.
There is no question that this type of information is vitally important to improving worker health and safety. For example, in 2012 our partner, Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC), helped a group of workers request their employer's OSHA Log 300 forms. Armed with this information, workers were able to file a successful Cal/OSHA complaint for numerous health and safety issues. However, not every worker has the support of a union or worker center in helping them gain this information. OSHA has no meaningful access to this data without electronic reporting. In order to replicate the success of WWRC or the success of Worksafe in assisting employees at Tesla, it is vital that the regulation remains in its current form.
Accurate and consistent record-keeping yields data that is essential to OSHA and worker advocates to inform us about the health and safety risks facing workers. We need the ability to identify trends and intervene before tragedy strikes. Without data, or with incomplete or misleading data, the lives of workers remain at risk.
Our access to data is precisely what the Trump administration has been attacking – and what is at stake with the latest proposed rollback of the electronic reporting rule. We urge you to voice your opposition by submitting your comments here – the deadline is tomorrow: Friday, September 28 at 8:59 PM PDT. In the darkness, workers will continue to suffer needlessly at work for the sake of the bottom line.