網頁

Monday, June 27, 2022

AG HEALEY SUPPORTS PROPOSED FEDERAL RULE AIMED AT EMPOWERING WORKERS AND EXPANDING WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS

AG HEALEY SUPPORTS PROPOSED FEDERAL RULE AIMED AT EMPOWERING WORKERS AND EXPANDING WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS 


BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general in supporting a proposed federal rule that would empower workers and expand public awareness of on-the-job dangers.  

 

The proposed rule would require many employers to report more detailed information about workplace injuries and illnesses to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and it would make that information publicly available. In a letter today to U.S. Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, the coalition expressed support for the proposed rule, describing it as “a significant improvement” on current reporting requirements.  

 

“This new rule will improve the health and safety of workers by requiring employers to be more transparent about their workplace conditions,” said AG Healey. “We thank our state and federal partners for the collaborative work to ensure that the physical and mental well-being of workers is taken seriously and that their rights are protected.”  

 

The rule would update current reporting regulations with important new amendments that call for more extensive reporting to OSHA by some employers.   

 

Among other things, the proposed rule would require certain employers with more than 100 employees in high-risk industries to annually submit three forms to OSHA electronically – a Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300), an Injury and Illness Report (OSHA Form 301), and the summary information (OSHA Form 300A). The proposed rule would also largely maintain the current requirement that employers with 20 or more employees in certain industries submit information from the summary form on an annual basis. The required submissions to OSHA would exclude any employee-identifying information and, critically, would be made available to the public electronically.  

 

The new rule will also empower workers, encourage the improvement of working conditions, and provide for added transparency, the attorneys general note. Such transparency will help state regulators more effectively enforce state labor and safety laws and address workplace hazards, while at the same time increasing understanding of occupational dangers among job seekers, researchers, the general public, and others. 

 

The coalition also stresses the limitations of the current reporting process where employers are required to submit only the annual summary information reported on OSHA Form 300A. Far more can be learned from requiring the additional OSHA Form 300 and the OSHA Form 301 that certain employers with more than 100 employees in high-risk industries will be required to submit annually under the proposed OSHA rule. These two forms collect detailed, narrative information about each injury or illness, for instance, what an employee was doing before the accident, how the injury occurred, what the specific injury or illness was, and which part or parts of the employee’s body were affected. The forms also include information regarding where on the premises the injury happened, the job title of the affected employee, and what object or substance directly harmed the employee. 

 

The coalition suggests that OSHA consider requiring designated industries to post information about the availability of the data, conduct outreach programs in collaboration with state departments of labor and health, and create partnerships with non-profit and non-governmental industries to provide training and outreach. 

 

The letter also praises the steps OSHA takes in the proposed rule to ensure that workers’ privacy and identifying information is safeguarded.  

 

AG Healey has long-been an advocate for the rights and protections of workers, and her Fair Labor Division works diligently to combat all forms of worker exploitation, and to maintain safety in the workplace. Earlier this month, the AG’s Office joined a multistate coalition defending states’ authority to protect workers from retaliation whenever they speak up about unsafe working conditions, and other workplace violations. In 2020, AG Healey issued enhanced resources for workers to make it easier to report workplace safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new online complaint form.  

 

Today’s letter, led by New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin was joined by the attorneys general of: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

No comments:

Post a Comment