Reputable California Automotive Industry Lawyers

For any employer working in the United States, safety of employees must be paramount. Whether an employee is working a physical job, dealing with sensitive chemicals or substances, or simply part of an office where repetitive stress injuries sometimes occur – employers must be cognizant of the health and safety of employees at all times.

Working in the automotive industry is often a particularly physical profession, with many workers engaged in manufacturing or repair jobs. Because of this, the federal government is particularly sensitive to risks that can arise within this sector of the economy. It has enacted special laws to address the health and safety issues involved, including a recent change to injury and illness reporting under OSHA.

OSHA and the Automotive Industry in Rancho Cucamonga

OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, is charged with administering health and safety laws and regulations throughout the United States. Many of the standards and regulations set forth by OSHA are industry-specific, with particular industries – such as construction or manufacturing – being subject to closer scrutiny and regulation.

According to OSHA, in 2015 there were 91 workplace fatalities in the automotive repair and maintenance industry.  Auto parts manufacturers and suppliers have also been the target of several recent OSHA enforcement actions for willingly exposing employees to hazardous work environments. For this reason, the automotive industry is an area of concern for OSHA officials.

Because of ongoing safety concerns, the automotive parts and accessories industry is considered a “high risk” industry by OSHA, which subjects it to additional protections and regulatory requirements. One such recent requirement that has been imposed is a new electronic online illness and injury tracking system.

New Illness and Injury Tracking Requirements

Beginning in December 2017, employers in the automotive parts and services industry with twenty or more employees are required to submit data regarding reported illness and injuries that occur on the job through an electronic reporting system.

Prior to this change, employers were allowed to record and maintain this data on OSHA 300 form logs. With the new change to the rule however, this data must be submitted electronically directly to OSHA. Data from 2016 was due on December 15, 2017, while data for 2017 must be reported online by July 1, 2018.  Beginning in 2019, the data must be submitted on a yearly basis no later than March 2nd.

This new rule won’t dramatically increase the work that automotive industry employers must perform, as employers have always been required to keep this information. However, it is anticipated that OSHA will begin to publicly post this data online for other employers and consumers to see. The hope here is that the public dissemination of “poor” safety records will encourage employers to change their behaviors and improve their record.

It is also anticipated that this online data may be used to help OSHA determine where to conduct onsite inspections, and will result in an uptick in inspections for businesses that report poor safety data.

California Attorneys Helping You Comply with Changing Regulatory Environments

With all the regulations that the automotive industry is currently subjected to, it can be easy for employers to overlook or misunderstand new regulations like OSHA’s new online reporting requirements. Although these mistakes are easy to make, the consequences of them can be severe.

At CKB Vienna LLP, our automotive industry attorneys constantly keep abreast of proposed changes to the laws, new regulations, and policy shifts that are likely to impact clients – and provide timely and relevant guidance on these issues. For more information, contact us online or at (909) 980-1040.

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