DOL Settlement Sets Stage for OSHA Release of Employers’ Illness, Injury Data
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) formally entered into a settlement with Public Citizen regarding a 2018 lawsuit seeking the release of OHSA Form 300A reports showing workplace injuries and illnesses for employers with 250 or more workers as well as those with 20 to 249 workers operating in designated high-hazard industries, including construction. The settlement, reached in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, gives the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) until August 18, 2020 to release all these work-site injury and illness reports that employers submitted for 2016 cases. In 2018, Public Citizen sued OSHA seeking the information after the agency refused to release the records in response to a FOIA request claiming employer confidentiality. The group sought the 2016 reports because that was the first year OSHA required employers to electronically file the information and they were the only records available at the time. More generally, the aforementioned settlement amounts to DOL conceding that going forward it will have to turn over OSHA Form 300A data when it is sought in a FOIA request. This is likely to lead to such requests becoming routine.
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