Group Sues to Restore OSHA Electronic Reporting

Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group, is suing to force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to restore full electronic injury and illness reporting requirements and collect all data from Forms 301 and Logs 300 that were due July 1.

The electronic submissions from companies with 250 or more employees were part of a rule from the Obama administration, but the current agency on July 30 opened a rule-making commentary period, which closes Sept. 28, to rework the rule. In the meantime, it suspended the reporting requirement on all but the basic Form 300a.

Public Citizen, in its suit before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia filed Sept. 7, argues that OSHA’s action was “arbitrary and capricious” and ignored the legal process set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by suspending the regulation’s requirements before going through a notice-and-commentary process.

Public Citizen claims that OSHA’s failure to collect the data will irreparably harm the group because the data “would have provided [Public Citizen] access to workplace injury and illness data from the covered establishments, which they would have analyzed in the course of their work on workplace safety and used to advocate for workplace safety protections.”

OSHA, however, has said the public has no legal right to such data under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and further, that it would not be providing such data.

Public Citizen was founded by Ralph Nader in 1971. According to its website, “Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability.”

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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