WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing a new rule that would amend its current recordkeeping regulations in an effort to better track workplace injuries and illnesses.

The new rule would add requirements for electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep. The first proposed new requirement is for establishments with more than 250 employees to electronically submit injury and illness records on a quarterly basis to OSHA. This requirement would apply to businesses that are already required to keep records.

OSHA is also proposing new requirements for establishments with 20 or more employees in certain industries with high injury and illness rates. The proposed rule would require such establishments to submit electronically only their summary of work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA once a year. Currently, many such firms report this information to OSHA under OSHA's Data Initiative, the agency said.

"Three-million injuries are three million too many," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "With the changes being proposed in this rule, employers, employees, the government and researchers will have better access to data that will encourage earlier abatement of hazards and result in improved programs to reduce workplace hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The proposal does not add any new requirement to keep records; it only modifies an employer's obligation to transmit these records to OSHA."

There will be a public comment period of 90 days, through Feb. 6, 2014. On Jan. 9, 2014, OSHA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule in Washington, DC. OSHA plans to publish a Federal Register notice shortly.