On September 18, 2014, OSHA published its final rule that revises requirements for reporting work-related fatalities and severe injuries. In addition to expanding reporting requirements, the revised OSHA rule modifies the list of employers that must routinely keep records of work-related injuries. These updates, which are outlined below, will take effect on January 1, 2015.
Why the changes?
In 2013, there were 4,405 workers killed on the job. The updated reporting and recordkeeping requirements will allow OSHA to focus its efforts more effectively to prevent fatalities and serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Additionally, the updated requirements will improve access by employers, employees, researchers and the public to information about workplace safety and health and increase their ability to identify and decrease serious hazards. The rule also updates the list of industries partially exempt from OSHA recordkeeping requirements due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system and the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System to classify establishments by industry.
What am I required to report under the new rule?
Previously OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities (notify OSHA within 8 hours) and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees (notify OSHA within 24 hours).
Starting in 2015, employers must report the following events to OSHA:
- All work-related fatalities – Notify OSHA within 8 hours
- All work-related in-patient hospitalizations of ONE OR MORE employees – Notify OSHA within 24 hours
- All work-related amputations – Notify OSHA within 24 hours
- All work-related losses of an eye – Notify OSHA within 24 hours
Per 29 CFR 1904.39, all employers covered by OSHA, even if exempt from injury and illness records (10 or fewer employees and/or list of low hazard industries) are required to follow these reporting requirements!
It’s also important to take note of OSHA’s definition for work-related amputations. OSHA defines an amputation as the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions (tissue torn away from the body), enucleations (removal of the eyeball), deglovings (skin torn away from the underlying tissue), scalpings (removal of the scalp), severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth. OSHA defines a hospitalization as formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment. It is NOT for diagnostic testing or observation.
What information must be included when reporting?
- Establishment name
- Location of work-related incident
- Time of incident
- Type of event
- Number of employees who suffered
- Names of employees who suffered
- Contact person and phone number
- Brief description of incident
How to Report?
OSHA provides three different ways for employers to report this information:
- By telephone to the OSHA Area Office nearest to the site of the work-related incident. Information about Ohio’s OSHA Area Offices
- By telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742).
- Electronically, using the event reporting application that will be located on OSHA’s public website. OSHA is currently developing this service.
What NOT to Report?
OSHA does not require employers to report any motor vehicle accidents that occur on public streets or highways, unless they take place in a construction zone. Furthermore, employers do not have to report any fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye to OSHA if the event occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, train, subway, bus, etc.). Finally, any fatality resulting more than 30 days after an incident, or any hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye resulting more than 24 hours after the work-related incident, are not required to be reported to OSHA. However, you must record these events on your OSHA injury and illness record, if you’re required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
Who do the changes apply to?
The updated reporting requirements apply to all employers covered by OSHA, even if exempt from keeping injury and illness records. No exceptions. The new rule also establishes an updated list of industries that are partially exempt from requirements to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records. The updated list of industries is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and can be viewed here. If your company has ten or fewer employees, regardless of the NAICS Code, you are partially exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records.
With these updated requirements for OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting rule come two key changes. First, the rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. Work-related hospitalizations involving one or more employees must now be reported within 24 hours. Previously, employers were only required to report work-related hospitalizations for three or more employees. Employers are also now required to report any work-related amputations or losses of an eye. Secondly, the rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. Companies must comply with these new requirements by January 1, 2015.
If you have questions about OSHA’s new recordkeeping and reporting requirements, or your company is newly required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, feel free to give Safex a call at 614-890-0800 or toll free at 866-723-3987. We can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want more information about these changes?
Safex will be holding a FREE webinar on December 18th detailing OSHA’s updates and what’s needed for compliance. Click here to attend the webinar!
Author: Graham Shippy – PR/Marketing Coordinator for Safex