Effective January 1, 2015, employers will be required to report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of learning about them.
OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels said, “We believe the updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.”
Michaels recounted a 2013 incident in Florida where a 32- year-old employee was killed by a moving part after he entered a large wire manufacturing machine to retrieve a fallen metal bar. Michaels said the death was preventable and occurred because a light curtain had been disabled that would have automatically turned the machine off when the worker entered the machine's danger zone.
“OSHA learned only after his death that two workers at the same factory had been severely injured on the same piece of machinery, including an amputation,” said the Assistant Secretary, who added that hospitalizations and amputations are good indicators a workplace contains major hazards. “Having improved, broader and more accurate access to information when injuries happen will help us focus our resources and compliance assistance where they are needed the most,” Michaels said. When asked what OSHA considered formal admittance for care, since surgeries can be either outpatient or inpatient, the agency said that determination is made by the hospital or clinic.
Employers can report covered events by calling their nearest area office during normal business hours, by calling the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or by reporting online at https://www.osha.gov/report_online/. According to the agency, confirmation of online reports will be provided by email.