OSHA’s Injury & Illness Rule: Includes Drug Testing and Incentive Programs to Promote Worker Safety

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has fought relentlessly in the courts to allow manufacturers to use the necessary tools to ensure the safety of their employees. Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Commissions (OSHA) published its final rule on the “Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” that takes into account the concerns of manufacturers to promote accountability and protect employee safety.

Most importantly, it clarifies a misguided 2016 rule that undermined employers’ post-incident drug testing policies and safety incentive programs at the expense of workers’ safety. The new regulation only prohibits employers from implementing programs intended to penalize workers for reporting workplace injuries. Drug testing remains the best tool available for identifying potential impairments that may have led to a workplace incident, and OSHA’s final rule re-empowers employers to promote and prioritize workplace safety.

The final rule also cuts significant red tape by rescinding the prior requirement for manufacturers with 20 or more employees to electronically submit personal worker information to OSHA every year (Forms 300 and 301). Employers must still submit Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, which will now also include employer identification numbers.

Overall, this is a major win for manufacturers, and we are glad to see the administration heard our concerns—especially about the importance of drug testing and safety incentive programs. This new rule better aligns OSHA’s policy decisions to help achieve its primary mission: worker safety.

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