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Cal/OSHA Emergency Reg for 300A Submissions

Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service

November 9, 2018

On Nov. 6, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved an emergency regulation by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) published an emergency regulation requiring all employers with 250 or more employees or employers of 20 to 249 employees in industries deemed by OSHA to be hazardous like agriculture, construction, and manufacturing to submit information from the employer’s 2017 Cal/OSHA Form 300A by Dec. 31, 2018.  

The emergency regulation remains in effect for 180 days unless OAL approves a re-adoption of the emergency regulation for a maximum of 90 additional days; OAL may grant an additional 90-day renewal of the emergency regulation.  During the pendency of the emergency regulation, the agency will likely undertake a process to enact a permanent reporting rule.

The approved emergency regulation requires California employers to submit Forms 300A to a secure web-based portal but offers little further information about the submission process and does not specify what the agency intends to do with this information.  The agency’s justification for issuing this regulation on an emergency basis rests in part of the position taken by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in April 2018 that California employers covered by injury and illness recordkeeping requirements were required to upload their 300A summaries to the federal agency’s Injury Tracking Application (see, Fed-OSHA Requires CA Employers to Upload Forms 300A,” from FELS’ website, updated June 28, 2018.)  Cal/OSHA says they wish to relieve “confusion” among California employers created by the federal agency’s mandate, though it is unclear whether the new state mandate will supplant the federal mandate.  The agency also justifies its emergency action by claiming federal OSHA may withdraw its approval of California’s state plan claiming Cal/OSHA failed to enact reporting requirements that are “substantially similar” to federal requirements as required by federal law.    

You can review the emergency regulation and the agency’s justification for the emergency action at Cal/OSHA’s website.