OSHA’s new rule revising its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation, is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2017. It requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms.

However, provisions of the rule that prohibit employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury originally were scheduled to become effective on Aug. 10.

OSHA agreed to delay enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions until Dec. 1. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas requested the delay to allow additional time to consider a motion challenging the new provisions.

Under the anti-retaliation protections in the rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

The agency claims analysis of the data from the new rule will enable it to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data also will be posted to the OSHA website.

According to OSHA, “[P]ublic disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customers, researchers and the general public.”

The amount of data submitted will vary depending on the size of company and type of industry.