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Delays in the injury and accident reporting rules

Many Oklahomans are injured each year while they are working. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the federal agency tasked with enforcing safety regulations. The agency's new injury and illness reporting requirements, which would make companies submit reports of injuries and illnesses electronically to the agency, have been delayed.

OSHA passed reporting rules that were effective on Jan. 1, 2017. Since that time, some employers have filed lawsuits against OSHA because of the reporting requirements. In June, OSHA issued a proposed extension of the reporting requirement deadline from July 1 to Dec. 1, 2017. The agency has also indicated that it was in the process of determining whether or not the rule should be revised.

Companies with 250 or more employees are required to submit the electronic reports to OSHA. Those with 20 to 250 employees are also supposed to comply with the reporting requirements if they are in certain high-risk industries. Businesses are discouraged from using post-accident drug testing in a way that might discourage workers from reporting their workplace injury accidents or illnesses.

The reporting requirements are meant to help to reduce workplace injuries by identifying companies with high injury and illness rates. In the current anti-regulatory environment, it is unclear whether the rules will be implemented. The rules would help the public to evaluate the safety record of different companies more easily.

People who are injured while they are working may want to talk to workers' compensation lawyers. When injury accidents happen or when the workers contract illnesses because of their jobs, workers' compensation benefits may be available to pay for their related medical costs and rehabilitation expenses. If the workers are partially or totally disabled because of their workplace injury or illness, the workers might also be able to recover monthly disability benefits to replace a portion of their former incomes.

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