U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director David Michaels said the agency's new regulation requiring employers in hazardous industries to submit injury and illness data will allow "researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer." Credit: U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Thousands of employers in hazardous industries will be required to electronically submit injury and illness information that federal workplace safety officials will make available online, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Wednesday.

Currently, employers are required to log injuries and illnesses and the number of days injured workers spend away from work. But they are not required to send them to OSHA.

“Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources at establishments where workers are at greatest risk, and enable ‘big data’ researchers to apply their skills to making workplaces safer,” David Michaels, OSHA’s director, said in a statement.

Beginning in 2017, companies with at least 250 workers in industries such as construction and manufacturing must electronically submit to OSHA injury and illness logs. Smaller employers will be required to submit more limited data to the agency.

Under the new regulation, employers must have a procedure for workers to report injuries without fear of retaliation.

The new regulation is part of a push by President Barack Obama for labor reforms that would expand the availability of overtime pay and limit workers’ exposure to silica and other carcinogens.

Jennifer Gollan can be reached at jgollan@cironline.org. Follow her on Twitter: @jennifergollan.

Jennifer Gollan

Jennifer Gollan is a reporter for Reveal, covering labor and corporate accountability.

An Emmy Award winner, Gollan has reported on topics ranging from oil companies that dodge accountability for workers’ deaths to lax manufacturing practices that contributed to deadly tire blowouts.

Gollan uncovered rampant exploitation and abuse of caregivers in the burgeoning elder care-home industry. The series, Caregivers and Takers, detailed how operators enriched themselves while paying workers about $2 an hour to work around the clock. The stories prompted a congressional hearing, plans for prosecutions and new state legislation. 

Gollan exposed how Navy shipbuilders received billions in public money even after their workers were killed or injured. In response to her reporting, Congress passed a new federal law, the Government Accountability Office produced a report and the Pentagon began scrutinizing the safety records of more defense contractors.

Gollan’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Guardian U.S., Politico Magazine and PBS NewsHour.

Her honors include a national Emmy Award, a Hillman Prize for web journalism, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, a National Headliner Award, a Gracie Award and two Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing Awards. She has been a finalist for an ONA Online Journalism Award, an IRE Award and two Gerald Loeb Awards. Gollan is based in Reveal’s Emeryville, California, office.