Two short posts today – new proposed regs, and a reminder
OSHA is proposing significant changes to the recordkeeping associated with injuries and illnesses. OSHA is proposing a rule that will require electronic reporting on a much more frequent basis. First, OSHA is proposing that workplaces more than 250 employees who are already required to keep records electronically submit those records on a quarterly basis to OSHA. Right now, those employers are only required to include injuries and illnesses on OSHA 300 logs, which are posted annually and provided to OSHA upon request. OSHA’s proposed rule will also require establishments with 20 or more employees in certain industries with high injury and illness rates submit electronically their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Comments are due to OSHA on the proposed rule by February 6, 2014. Details on the proposed rule, including the proposed rule, the press release, and frequently asked questions can be found on OSHA’s website for the proposed rule.
While not new, here’s a friendly reminder to manufacturers that reasonable accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are not limited to essential job functions. The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities and these accommodations are not restricted to modification that enable performance of essential job functions. In the recent case of Feist v. State of Louisiana (5th Cir. Sept. 16, 2013), the employee prevailed on appeal when her employer denied her free on-site parking to accommodate her osteoarthritis. The court cited the implementing regulations defining reasonable accommodations and clarified that such accommodations can include making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals. As manufacturers prepare for the Department of Labor’s 7-percent hiring goals (effective March 2014) discussed in a previous blog post, such preparation should include ADA training and any necessary updates to job descriptions and policies addressing accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in the workplace.