Myriad developments continue to emerge in the risk management field. And of course, the most vital are those that pertain to your foremost priority as a business leader: keeping your employees safe and injury free.
A major recent announcement by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was that OSHA would be implementing electronic incident reporting, a processto be rolled out over a two-year period. This new requirement allows OSHA to more efficiently allocate its compliance assistance resources. For employers, it means shifting reporting processes from manual to electronic. Equally important is the fact that these reports will now be public facing, available to media, job seekers and anyone else who seeks to access it.
Understanding this Change
With the onset of electronic incident reporting, there are two key changes that must be addressed from a risk management standpoint:
- Electronic submission criteria: Electronic submissions improve record keeping and remove human error that can arise when businesses rely on paper-based processes. Under the new electronic system, you can easily export all necessary OSHA data into an Excel.csv file and directly upload it.
- Public distribution of data: Once data is uploaded and analyzed, it is published on the OSHA website. OSHA’s intent is not to publicly shame companies, but rather to use public disclosure to bring risk and workplace safety to the forefront of organizational priorities.
How Can Your Business Benefit?
This OSHA reporting change brings with it a multitude of data that your company can use to make more informed business decisions. In addition to your own workplace information, you can review data from your competitors and others. This can help you improve your internal workplace safety issues, as well as identify and address emerging industry trends.
- Public distribution of data gives you greater control over your public image. By using it as an opportunity to strengthen and reinforce your company’s dedication to safety, it could have a strong positive impact on your employer reputation and ability to attract and retain desired talent.
Are You Ready?
Be sure that your risk teams review their reporting processes to ensure they are collecting the proper data for OSHA submission. This may include looking at how reports are gathered, the accuracy of those reports, and where they are stored within your system. Explore ways to improve and streamline these processes.
- Increase your emphasis on educating employees about incident reporting. Present reporting as a positive step that empowers employees and gives them a stronger voice in improving workplace safety.
- Ensure continuing safety training and education. This will not only help reduce accidents, but also enhance morale.
Safety and risk management issues can be challenging, especially for small to midsized companies. By partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO), you can outsource some, or all, of this work so you can focus on other core initiatives. As an ESAC-accredited and IRS-certified PEO, Lyons HR offers the gold standard in HR services. These include OSHA and other regulatory and compliance assistance, safety planning and training, claims management, reporting assistance, accident investigation and more. Contact us today to discuss possible strategies for your growing business.