DHS Alerts OSHA of Possible Electronic Reporting Security Breach

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

On August 1, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its online electronic data filing application.  It was designed to collect and publish injury data on companies throughout the United States in order to comply with a new requirement.

Within just a few weeks of its launch, according to an OSHA spokesperson, the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team alerted OSHA of a possible data breach within the newly launched Injury Tracking Application (ITA).  

The warning indicated user information for the tracking application system could have been compromised and the affected company was notified about the apparent breach.

According to a Department of Labor official on August 14, 2017, “Access to the ITA has been temporarily suspended as OSHA works with the system developer to examine the issue to determine the extent of the problem.”

As of today, August 23, 2017, OSHA’s ITA webpage displays an “Alert: Due to technical difficulties with the website, some pages are temporarily unavailable,” preventing anyone from uploading their data. 

In an article published by Business Insurance, legal experts were cited as advising companies to wait to file their reports. “I’m not advising anybody to file it before Dec. 1 because it might change,” said Mark Kittaka, a Columbus, Ohio-based partner with Barnes & Thornburg L.L.P. “I don’t know why you’d want to file it early. You may not have to file it all.”

However, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services advises its clients to continue to keep track of their incidents in the Risk Management Center, regardless of what happens with the OSHA electronic reporting requirement.  Companies will still need to maintain current OSHA logs, even if the electronic system is unavailable or the electronic reporting requirement changes.  If the December 1, 2017 deadline remains in effect, clients will be prepared to submit the data via the Risk Management Center, if the data has been maintained.

Contact Rancho Mesa Insurance Services at (619) 937-0164 if you have questions about how to track your incidents in the Risk Management Center and generate the required OSHA logs.