Federal agencies must report worker injuries

Now held to same standard as private employers

Starting at the first of this year, federal employers and agencies are required to adopt the same worker safety and health record-keeping and reporting requirements that have been in effect for the private sector. Federal agencies had been exempt from the reporting requirements until this year.

The regulation became effective Jan. 1, but notices of violations will not be issued during the first year as long as agencies are making a reasonable effort to comply with the requirements. OSHA has launched a comprehensive outreach and compliance assistance effort to educate and train federal agencies on the new recording requirements.

The change means federal employers, like those in the private sector now, will be required to post summaries of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in the prior year each February. Federal employers will begin posting the summary, OSHA Form 300A, Feb. 1, 2006. Employers with more than 10 employees, except for employers specifically exempted by OSHA, must post the form in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted.