December 27, 2016

OSHA Clarifies Record Keeping Rule

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Unfortunately injuries happen far too often on dairy farms. As an employer it is your responsibility to record injury events. Recently the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule that clarifies an employer’s obligation to make and maintain accurate records of recordable injury and illness.

The rule was printed in the Federal Register on Monday, December 20 and will go into effect January 18, 2017.

This rule reverses a previous rule which found that OSHA cannot issue citations for an employer failing to record an injury or illness beyond the six-month statute of limitation as set out in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The new rule clarifies that an employer has a continuing obligation to record illness and injuries for five years, which coincides with record-retention requirements.

According to Emily Lyons, director of regulatory affairs and counsel with the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the new rule could come under review by the Trump Administration. It could also be subject to the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers 60 legislative days to overturn a regulation from the current or previous administration. As part of the Coalition for Workplace Safety, IDFA filed comments objecting to the rulemaking.

Dairies with more than 10 employees fall under OSHA regulations. If your dairy is in that category, make sure your policies and reporting processes are up to date.