Thursday, September 11, 2014

OSHA Issues New Requirements for Reporting Severe Injuries & Fatalities

OSHA has issued a final rule that requires employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the rule also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record keeping requirements.

According to OSHA and the Department of Labor, the decision was influenced by BLS's 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. “Today, the BLS reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” says U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within 8 hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Employers were not required to report single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye. The agency is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options.

OSHA also updated the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The rule uses the North American Industry Classification System (rather than SIC system) to classify establishments by industry. Learn more on OSHA’s website.