WASHINGTON-Tire manufacturers, dealers and retreaders aren't fazed by pending new injury and illness reporting requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But some of their chief customers, the nation's trucking fleets, are concerned the new rules could trigger OSHA inspections of their facilities because the rules don't differentiate between on-site injuries and off-site (i.e. road) accidents.
There are two parts to the reporting proposal made by OSHA. One is a proposed rule designed to streamline employer accident reporting requirements for employers with 60 or more workers. It is being reviewed by the leadership of OSHA's parent, the Labor Department, prior to publication in the Federal Register.
The second part, requiring employers with 60 or more workers to submit their injury and illness logs-including workers' compensation data-directly to OSHA, is being handled administratively within the agency. This requirement was supposed to go into effect in January, said Stuart Flatow, occupational health specialist for the American Trucking Associ-ations, but the government shut-down slowed agency review.
What concerns the ATA is that a trucking fleet's logs will include drivers' road accidents, but won't differentiate between those and accidents occurring at the actual trucking facility.
Approximately one-third of all injuries in the trucking industry come from road accidents, Mr. Flatow said in an Aug. 21, 1995, letter to John Miles, OSHA director of compliance programs.
``Motor carriers have limited control over the activities of their drivers (on the road),'' Mr. Flatow said. ``The inclusion of compensation data due to injuries that occur away from the employer's facility. . . has already and may continue to inaccurately place motor carriers in the `high hazard'. . . category.''
Mr. Flatow asked Mr. Miles for a formula for the trucking industry that either reduces their workers' compensation claims by 33 percent or omits workers' compensation claims from road accidents.
In a Dec. 11 reply, Mr. Miles said the agency will try to develop a solution to this problem in the ``Dakota FIRST'' pilot OSHA/industry partnership program it is setting up in North Dakota.
One solution, he said, is for ATA members selected for the Dakota program to have their accident logs compared with state workers' compensation data for North Dakota. ``(Through this method) we should be able to determine the percentage of off-site accidents over which the employer has no direct control,'' he said.
Mr. Miles also said that employers ``must undertake training and other appropriate measures to ensure that their employees recognize hazards and conduct business off-site as safely as possible.''
According to Mr. Flatow, the ATA has drafted a detailed program guideline for reducing road injuries among truckers.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is not concerned about the proposed OSHA reporting changes, said Peter J. Pantuso, RMA vice president of public affairs. ``Our members will report the same data as before. Only the format has changed.''
Retreaders also have few worries about changes to their own OSHA reporting requirements, according to Roy E. Littlefield III, director of government relations for the American Retreaders Association. ``But anything that's a concern to the trucking industry is a concern to us,'' he said.