How to Win at OSHA Compliance
With the December 15th deadline to submit employee injury and illness forms to OSHA quickly approaching, you might be feeling the pressures of the impending finish line. The list of tasks to wrap up seems endless and as it grows, so does your anxiety and stress in completing it all on time. In the case of a workforce injury or death in which there seems to be only one possible outcome - a loss - we want to coach you on how to handle the difficulties of OSHA reporting with confidence and peace of mind.
What is OSHA?
In order to mark up your OSHA game as a “W,” it’s important to first understand what it is. OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, was first established in 1971. Its goal is to provide employees with a safe and comfortable working environment in which they are never faced with threat of injury or death and to reduce occupational health and safety hazards. In order to accomplish this goal, OSHA has set forth standards and guidelines with which companies must comply. Safety and health standards, educational training programs, and prevention programs are all part of the OSHA requirements set forth by the government. In the cases that injury, illness, or death do occur due to employment or safety negligence, employers must promptly and accurately report these to OSHA to correctly provide fair and lawful compensation to those affected.
Gold Medal: Automated Tracking and Reporting Systems
Now that you have a better understanding of OSHA and its goals for the workforce, let’s dive into the OSHA pool and discuss why automating your tracking and reporting processes will help you win gold with ease. Deadlines will be met, time filling out forms will be saved, and penalties will be avoided. As reporting requirements change, an online system ensures you’re ahead of the game.
The deadline to electronically submit 2016 OSHA reporting is December 15, 2017.
Speaking of changing requirements, as of November 24, 2017, establishments with 250 or more employees and establishments of fewer employees in certain high-risk industries are required to electronically submit 2016 information from OSHA Form 300A by December 15, 2017. With the official rule for tracking and reporting workplace injuries finalized, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is putting a 2-year plan in place to phase in the new electronic tracking requirements.
This year, 2016 OSHA tracking form 300A, The Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, is required. Next year, these enterprises of 250 or more employees that are required to keep OSHA records will be required to submit all 2017 OSHA tracking forms electronically by July 1, 2018. These include forms 300A, 300, and 301. By the same date, companies with fewer than 250 employees must submit only Form 300A.
The following year and each subsequent year, the deadline to report the injury and illness data will be March 2.
Using an online system that consolidates all processes into one, unified place will save you time and ensure deadlines are always met. The shift to electronic form submissions next week can be extremely simple when data is all stored in and pulled from one place. Handling year-end documentation, W-2 adjustments, ACA reporting, and all tasks involved with rounding out the year’s payroll and HR processing in a centralized platform will improve clarity and simplicity. When all processes are efficiently located on one system, tasks can be completed routinely and (nearly) effortlessly.
Submitting the right forms on time is essential to avoiding mistakes and penalties. So what’s what? There are three forms that OSHA requires:
Form 300 - Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 300A - Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 301 - Injury and Illness Incident Report
When using an online system that simplifies the tracking process, data automatically populates from incident reports into the required forms. There is little to no additional effort necessary to ensure all forms are properly filled out and submitted. Information is simply logged as an incident, populated into Form 301 automatically, and again pulled into form 300A.
How to Report
Using Form 301, all employers are required to notify OSHA in the event of a work-related death within 8 hours. Inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours. Record the employee affected and time, date, and location of the incident.
From here, establishments may fill out the Injury and Illness Incident Report and submit it electronically to OSHA through the Injury Tracking Application.
The database of information assembled by simple data entry at the time of an incident eliminates the confusion of multiple forms and what their purposes are. With an automatic tracking and reporting system, companies can record a one-time incident into the system. Again, all information collected throughout the year populates into the appropriate forms automatically when it comes time to report. Required forms can then simply be submitted to OSHA in a hassle-free manner. That reduces the amount of necessary steps significantly. In fact, rather than a multi-step reporting process, establishments can report information once and take the headache out of tracking injuries and illnesses.
Just as when an employee is injured on the job, it’s unfortunate when your company is fined for not adhering to health and safety guidelines. Companies may also be fined for not appropriately tracking and reporting injuries and illnesses. Click here to see what penalties you could face if OSHA requirements are neglected.
How can penalties for inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and delayed submissions be avoided? It’s simple. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, using an online system can make these pitfalls a thing of the past. Alerts of inaccuracies in information ensure data is always submitted correctly. It can sometimes be as simple as a clerical error - a misspelling or inversion of numbers, for example - but these mistakes can significantly cost companies.
To reduce the possibility of injury or death altogether, online training programs can be utilized - especially in high-risk industries.
Going For Gold
When an employee is injured on the job, it’s no laughing matter. There are, first and foremost, concerns for the employee’s health and wellness. Not to mention, there are countless legal, financial, and safety obligations that arise from a such a serious situation, as well as penalties associated with missteps. We’re all human and sometimes accidents happen, but with an automated tracking and reporting system, you’ll be well-equipped to properly track and report worker’s compensation, prevent future mishaps, and ultimately win at OSHA.
How APS Can Help
APS is a simplified, unified, and cloud-based platform that consolidates all employee data in an easy-to-use database. All employee information regarding contact and Social Security information, healthcare providers, emergency contacts, and insurance coverage is stored securely. APS’s efficient and user-friendly dashboard promotes visibility and accessibility for all administrators to view OSHA incidents quickly and easily. The system makes incident tracking simple. Auto-populating data ensures accurate information and eliminates steps for those administrators tasked with tracking and reporting OSHA forms at year-end and reduces risk of error. Additionally, our system automatically formats and prints OSHA-required forms establishments must physically post to maintain safety and health standards in the workplace as well as provides an online training suite to reduce hazardous activity and avoid occupational accidents.
For more information, please visit www.apspayroll.com or call 855-945-7921.
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