OSHA Issues New Rules for Death, Injury Reporting

By Max Mihelich

Nov. 2, 2014

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration announced a final rule that requires employers to notify the agency when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

Additionally, the rule updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements.

Under the rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA ofwork-related fatalities within eight hours, as well as work-related hospitalizations, amputations or the loss of an eye within 24 hours. Under the rule set to be replaced, an employer is required to report only work-related fatalities and hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye is not required under the rule as it currently stands.

All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA’s new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. However, the new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of industry, from requiring them to routinely keep records of injuries and illnesses.

“OSHA will now receive crucial reports of fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses that will significantly enhance the agency’s ability to target our resources to save lives and prevent further injury and illness. This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk,” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, in a written statement.

Max Mihelich is a writer in the Chicago area.

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