The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a new rule which changes the requirements for notification to OSHA when an employee suffers a work-related in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
Currently, employers are required to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees within 8 hours of the event. The new rule has identical reporting requirements for work related fatalities. However, beginning on January 1, 2015, employers must notify OSHA of all work-related injuries that require in-patient hospitalization, as well as amputation or loss of an eye, within 24 hours of the event.
The new reporting requirements apply to all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are not required to keep injury and illness records. OSHA is currently developing a website that will allow employers to make reports online. Until the electronic reporting is available, employers can report to OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA or by visiting their nearest area office.
OSHA claims that not every report will lead to an investigation. “We will begin a conversation, and in some cases we won’t need anything else. We are not going to send an inspector to respond to every one of these. But, we will engage with the employers whose workers have been hurt. Right now, we are developing a process to determine which incidents to inspect and which to handle using other types of investigations and interventions” said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, in a press conference on September 11, 2014.
In light of the changed requirements, employers should review their reporting procedures to ensure they remain OSHA compliant in the event of a workplace accident.
For additional information or to discuss how to ensure compliance with the new reporting requirements please contact Stephen E. O’Day or Christopher J. Bowers.
Further information concerning the updated occupational injury and illness recording and reporting requirements is available directly from OSHA at https://osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/NAICSReporting.pdf.
This client alert is intended to inform clients and other interested parties about legal matters of current interest and is not intended as legal advice.