Final OSHA Rule Clarifies the Ongoing Obligation to Make and Maintain Accurate Records of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

February 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule that clarifies an employer’s continuing obligation to make and maintain an accurate record of each recordable injury and illness. The final rule became effective Jan. 18, 2017.
OSHA’s longstanding position has been that an employer’s duty to record an injury or illness continues for the full five-year record-retention period, and this position has been upheld by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in cases dating back to 1993. In 2012, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision in AKM LLC v. Secretary of Labor (Volks) reversing the commission and rejecting OSHA’s position on the continuing nature of its prior recordkeeping regulations.
The new final rule more clearly states employers’ obligations.  The amendments in the final rule add no new compliance obligations and do not require employers to make records of any injuries or illnesses for which records are not already required.