The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is in favor an electronic submission requirement in OSHA’s proposed rule for the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses – but it wants a worker privacy study conducted before the rule is finalized.

In a letter sent to the agency’s Director of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Amanda Edens, AIHA Director of Government Relations Mark Ames offered recommendations on the rule (Docket Number: OSHA-2013-0023 / RIN: 1218-AD17).

"Data-driven approaches are needed"

The AIHA said it supports the requirement for companies with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301.

“The association strongly believes that based on the continuing trends in the rates of worker injuries, illnesses, and deaths, it is clear that creative, data-driven approaches are needed. AIHA values worker privacy and also believes that the data contained in Forms 300 and 301 hold valuable insights, which may result in improved worker health and safety.

"OSHA has limited information"

“Because OSHA admits that it has not fully analyzed the potential benefits of the data contained in these forms, AIHA recommends a temporary postponement of the rule until such analysis has occurred. “Absent such research, OSHA has limited information upon which to guide its actions. AIHA believes that proceeding cautiously with new regulations – especially when worker health and safety are at stake – is the wise path to follow, and that such a course will lead to benefits for all.”

Where: The letter can be found here.

The AIHA’s 8,500 members represent a cross-section of industry, private business, labor, government, and academia.