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Battle looming over proposed rule concerning OSHA reporting

There are rules in place regarding how employers are required to file paperwork concerning workplace accidents. A few years ago, under the last administration, a new rule was instituted that revised how much information employers were required to report to OSHA concerning injuries on-the-job. Currently, anytime a Missouri resident is injured or suffers an illness related to his or her employment, the details surrounding the incident must be reported if the company employs more than 250 workers. 

Now, another proposal would roll back some of those requirements in the interest of preserving both worker and employer privacy. Under the current regulations, an employer is required to supply detailed information regarding how an accident occurred and injuries suffered. Those who worked on establishing this rule claim that it is needed in order to provide workers with more protections in the workplace. One spokesperson stated that identifying personal information can be redacted before these reports are available for publication.

However, opponents claim that the current regulations violate the privacy of both victims and employers, as anyone could access this information through the Freedom of Information Act. It is further believed that publishing such information can lead to harm to an employer's reputation, as an accident is not necessarily indicative of the workers' overall safety. Those who are working to roll back the current provisions also state that doing so will alleviate the burden such reporting imposes on employers' time.

The proposed changes have not been instituted and must go through the approval process before the Department of Labor can move forward. There is currently a pending lawsuit over the effort to revise the rule in its current form. Regardless of the rules that mandate reporting of accidents to OSHA, an injured worker is entitled to seek benefits through the workers' compensation program. Missouri residents can enlist the help of an attorney who is well-versed in the procedures for filing a successful claim for maximum benefits.

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