As we have previously reported, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was going to require certain employers to submit their Form 300A annual injury and illness summaries electronically. This requirement was part of the Agency’s new final rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” promulgated during the Obama Administration. Electronic versions of the Form 300A summaries for 2016 would have been due July 1, 2017.

However, the Agency announced on Wednesday that it plans to propose extending the July 1 deadline for an unspecified period. It is not clear whether OSHA intends to make any other changes to the rule or to the Obama Administration’s plans to post the submitted records on OSHA’s website.

OSHA issued the electronic submission requirement on May 12, 2016, in a final rule that also included controversial new anti-retaliation requirements that OSHA interpreted as restricting post-injury drug testing and incident-based safety incentive programs. The new rule requires larger establishments with at least 250 employees at any time during the previous calendar year to submit their OSHA 300 Logs, 301 Incident Reports, and 300A Annual Summaries to the Agency through a new website that would allow, with very limited exceptions, for public access to that information. Smaller establishments, with at least 20 employees, in certain industries with high injury and illness rates are required to submit the information from their 300A Annual Summary to the new OSHA injury and illness website each year. These electronic submission requirements were to be phased in over a two-year period. Before Wednesday’s announcement, both larger and smaller establishments would have been required to submit their 300A Forms – but not the OSHA 300 logs or the 301 Incident Reports – by July 1.

OSHA announced its intention to extend that due date simply by “updating” its webpage on the new rule with the italicized sentence in the following paragraph:

Updated Electronic Submission of Records

OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Updates will be posted to this webpage when they are available.

We will continue to monitor for additional information about the extension and other possible changes to the rule and OSHA’s interpretation of it, including the controversial anti-retaliation provisions, and will alert you to any developments.