A new rule that requires many US companies, which includes shippers and transport providers, to turn in injury and illness data to federal regulators electronically will enhance the reach of these regulators and help them to direct enforcement actions against those corporations.
The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule will affect many companies in the US, but especially those in ‘high hazard’ industries, which include freight transportation firms that are involved in trucking.
Under the final federal rule that was released this week, trucking companies must electronically send injury and illness information that they are already mandated to keep according to OSHA rules. OSHA will then post information related to those specific employers on its website.
Trucking companies with as few as 20 employees could be affected by this rule.
According to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, the new reporting requirements will encourage trucking companies and other employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses. This will help to show the public, job seekers, investors and customers that they are running safe companies.
He further noted that the public disclosure of injury and illness data can be a strong tool to change company behavior. By disclosing this data, the employer will be encouraged to reduce hazards in the workplace and prevent illnesses and injuries.
Companies with more than 250 employees must submit data from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301, while companies with 20-249 employees in high hazard businesses, including freight shipping companies, must submit their information on OSHA Form 300A only.
All of our truck accident attorneys are pleased to see that high hazard companies, including many trucking companies, will now be required to turn in injury and illness data electronically to OSHA. We think that mandating this action will lead to truck safety improvements. In many of our personal injury lawsuits involving truckers, the truck driver acted in a negligent fashion. In some cases, he may have driven for too long and fell asleep behind the wheel and hit an innocent driver. Or, he may have driven in a reckless fashion and caused a serious accident. In those types of truck crashes, perhaps having injury data made more public would encourage the companies involved to clean up their act. This new federal rule should help to improve truck safety, just as suing trucking companies for injuries that they cause does as well.
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