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Nomination of New OSHA Leadership and Changes to the Submission Deadline for Electronic Reporting of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Insight & Impact - Labor & Employment Regulatory Newsletter Fred Gants

ISSUE: On October 27, 2017, President Trump nominated FedEx safety official Scott Mugno to lead the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Mugno started with FedEx Express in 1994 as a senior attorney for domestic regulatory affairs and became managing director of safety, health and fire prevention in 2000. He has worked for FedEx Ground as vice president for safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance since 2011, thus bringing private sector and workplace safety experience with him to the government agency tasked with enforcing workplace health and safety rules. If confirmed by the Senate, Mugno would take over for Loren Sweatt, the acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Under the Trump Administration, there has been an obvious movement away from the pro-employee policies and agendas proposed under President Obama. For example, the Trump Administration's regulatory agenda released earlier this year moved several unfinished regulations, including proposals to protect workers from infectious diseases and workplace violence, onto OSHA's "long-term" action list, signaling that they are not a priority.

Mugno has given no indication whether he will focus on changing existing regulations rather than creating new ones, but workplace health and safety experts expect that he will continue the Trump Administration's prioritization for deregulation.


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IMPACT: One newly implemented regulation Mugno will be responsible for overseeing and which employers continue to follow closely is OSHA's "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses" rule, which requires employers in certain high-risk industries or those with over 250 employees to electronically submit to OSHA their injury and illness data from year 2016. As we previously reported, the deadline for the electronic submission of workplace injuries and illnesses was set for December 1, 2017 after being postponed multiple times and OSHA's temporary shutdown of its online reporting Injury Tracking Application back in August of 2017 due to a potential security breach. Just this last month, OSHA extended the electronic reporting deadline once again to December 15, 2017, giving affected employers additional time to become familiar with the reporting system according to a Department of Labor statement. Affected employers must use OSHA's Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to submit this data: https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/ita/. According to OSHA, the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically, and therefore, establishments in these states are not currently required to submit their data through ITA: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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