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Understanding OSHA reporting rules

As of January 2017, some companies in Georgia and elsewhere have been required to submit injury and illness data electronically to OSHA. In many cases, these and other companies have been required to keep injury and illness records on file before the electronic filing requirement was adopted. However, this rule has been challenged in court since it went into effect. Therefore, businesses may be even more confused as to what their reporting obligations are.

Employers required to comply with the electronic submission rule were given until Dec. 1 to do so. However, a combination of lawsuits and outcry from the public has created uncertainty as to whether the rule will actually take effect. It is important to note that reporting dates will change going forward. Forms 300, 300A and 301 for 2017 are due by July 1, 2018 and will be due by March 2 in subsequent years.

Companies that have fewer than 250 employees are generally exempt from electronic reporting requirements. However, smaller businesses in fields such as construction or utility companies will need to submit Form 300A. Employers in states such as California or Maryland may face more uncertainty as they are governed by state plans, and those states and others have yet to adopt the rule.

Those who are injured in an accident at work may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may make it easier to pay bills or otherwise make ends meet while out of work. An attorney may be helpful to those who have questions about the process of applying for benefits or who have had their applications denied. In some cases, it may be possible to appeal a workers' compensation decision, which may help a person get the benefits he or she may be entitled to.

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