May 13, 2021

Washington Wire: OSHA Issues Final Rule on Tracking Workplace Injuries and Illnesses


As OSHA Issues Final Rule on Tracking Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, Forms 300A Due March 2  

Late last week, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule changing Obama OSHA’s tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses regulation. Under its final rule, OSHA will revoke the requirement for businesses to submit Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report), only requiring submissions of Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses). However, the final rule retains the proposed rule’s requirement for businesses to include their Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) when submitting a Form 300A.
Last September, on behalf of our members, One Voice submitted comments to OSHA supporting the revocation of Forms 300 and 301, but against having businesses include their EIN numbers on Form 300As. EINs are confidential business information, the disclosure of which exposes our members to more risk and these filing do not improve workplace safety but could create a false public impression of manufacturing as a dangerous occupation. While OSHA currently does not grant Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for Form 300A, a group of health interests have already filed a lawsuit challenging the final rule, leading to the possibility of OSHA’s position being reversed in court. Employers must electronically submit their Form 300A for Calendar Year 2018 by March 2, 2019. Click here to access OSHA’s injury reporting portal. Please note, several states operating their own Injury Illness Reporting system have their own filing process and California is requiring 300 and 301 forms through their in-state portal.



NLRB Proposed Joint-Employer Rulemaking Moving Along
Joining nearly 90 other organizations, One Voice signed onto comments in support of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed joint-employer rule. The proposed rule seeks to reverse the uncertainty caused by an Obama NLRB decision in Browning-Ferris Industries. That 2015 decision extremely enlarged the definition of joint employer to include businesses that exercise “indirect control” over working conditions of another company’s employees, even if they merely reserve the right to do so. This action also affected manufacturers using temporary workers.
The NLRB’s proposed regulation would consider an employer as a joint employer of a separate employer’s employees only if the two employers share or codetermine the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, and direction. More specifically, to be deemed a joint employer under the proposed regulation, an employer must possess and actually exercise substantial direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment of another employer’s employees in a manner that is not limited and routine. One Voice applauds the NLRB’s decision to foster predictability, consistency and stability in the determination of joint-employer status.



CTE Perkins Funding Allocations by State Announced for FY 2019
The Department of Education recently released its CTE Perkins state-level funding levels for FY 2019 it will distribute on July 1st. Every state will see a funding increase from the previous year due in part to lobbying One Voice and their members did in support of a law passed last year increasing funding for Perkins state grants to $1.17 billion, $70 million above the current funding level. One voice and its members lobbied Congress extensively on the law to increase CTE Perkins funding, marking a rare bipartisan victory during an election year.
The increase in funding can apply to CTE programs, especially if geared towards career guidance services, education technology and STEM education. Furthermore, it increases apprenticeship opportunities by $15 million to $160 million total and state grants for adult education programs by $25 million. Finally, Pell grants get a boost of $100 to $6,195 for the current academic year and continues funding for Year-round Pell. Click here and scroll down to page 19 to find your state allocation. This is an important victory for One Voice members and proof of how grassroots advocacy from individual companies through their associations can make a difference in a polarized Washington.



Tariff Bill Reigns in President’s 232 Trade Authority Review
This week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers on both the House and Senate sides introduced legislation that could help provide relief to the millions of manufacturing workers and businesses suffering from the continued raw material shortages, price increases, and injury caused by the y Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. The Congressional Trade Authority Act would require Congressional approval before the federal government could impose Section 232 tariffs and would transfer investigative authority of national security investigations from the Commerce Department to the Department of Defense. Many have raised concerns that the Commerce Department, which also oversees fisheries and weather, is ill-suited to make national security decisions affecting thousands of defense contractors and millions of American workers employed in manufacturing.
The Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs are forcing U.S. manufacturers to pay hundreds of dollars more per ton for steel than their overseas competitors. In addition, the domestic steel industry cannot produce enough steel and aluminum to meet demand, meaning that U.S. manufacturers experience longer delivery times from their U.S. suppliers, contributing to uncertainty and lost business opportunities. Specialty metals for tool steel and medical devices is in particular short supply and now subject to import quotas, making U.S. tool and die makers and metalformers less globally competitive than their counterparts who do not face similar government intervention.