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OSHA changing reporting regarding work injury or illness

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exists to help ensure the health and safety of New Jersey's and America's work force. One way this is accomplished is through annual electronic reporting of injuries and illnesses that identify locations that have experienced these issues. This enables an employee to know if a work injury or illness was experienced at his or her place of employment because the information is public.

The electronic reporting has been conducted through the submission of three electronic forms. One form is a summary of incidents, and the others provide detailed information on what happened. In a recent rollback, OSHA has reduced that requirement to submission of the summary form only. Six states, including New Jersey, have brought suit, arguing that employees have a right to know about dangerous conditions in the workplace.

OSHA's argument for the change is that the agency believes the electronic reporting violates worker privacy. OSHA further stated that the detailed reporting would not accomplish much when it came to improving working conditions. The prior rule established by OSHA stated that companies with more than 250 employees, or high-risk industries with 20 – 249 employees, were required to file the three electronic forms.

Many jobs carry inherent risks, and a work injury may happen regardless of precautions taken. Proper equipment and safety training can reduce the chances of an injury occurring. If one is injured on the job in New Jersey, a consultation with an attorney experienced in workers' compensation law may be beneficial. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the facts of the case and advice the client of his or her rights under the law.

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