PCCA stands with many others in construction and other industries in opposing OSHA’s revisions to the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule. Unfortunately, this new rule, which reverses beneficial changes made in 2019, puts back into effect and expands upon harmful provisions that put employees and their employers at risk by forcing them to make public sensitive information about their employees and their workplace.
Under OSHA’s new rule, companies with more than 100 employees in construction and other designated industries will be required to electronically submit OSHA form 300 and 301 information once a year. Those with 20 or more employees will also be required to electronically submit form 300A information once a year.
PCCA is deeply concerned by OSHA’s stated intention to make much of the reported information available online to the general public. These forms by their very nature contain personal information and private medical records. Electronically collecting and posting this information online creates real cybersecurity and privacy concerns and puts sensitive employee data at risk, forcing companies to disregard the confidentiality language specifically included on the forms. Even posting redacted information online creates a privacy problem – the information available can easily be traced and filled in to identify specific injuries, illnesses, and individuals involved. And with the increasingly prevalence of AI language models and bots scraping large quantities of data from the internet, it would be easy for bad actors to target companies or specific employees with misinformation campaigns or scams.
Worryingly, this information is also made available in such a way that it is easy to take specific injuries or illnesses out of context and thus paint a misleading picture of a contractor’s safety record and workplace.
Safety is a top priority for our industry, and we stand ready to work with OSHA to help craft a rule that improves employee safety. Unfortunately, these changes to the rule do nothing to help meet that goal. PCCA urges OSHA to withdraw these changes to the rule before they go into effect January 1, 2024.