The OSHA Standard for Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, 29 C.F.R. § 1904, requires that certain employers track work-related injuries and illnesses of their employees throughout the year, post the summaries of those injuries at the end of the year, maintain records for five years and report to OSHA certain work-related incidents. This GT Alert will identify the most recent changes to the requirements. A comprehensive review of the requirements were addressed in an August 2012 GT Alert, OSHA Requirements for Reporting and Recording Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. The posting requirements were addressed in a January 2012 GT Alert, OSHA Alert - February 1 Deadline for OSHA 300-A.
There were two changes to the standard that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015. The first is related to the list of exempt businesses that do not have to comply with the recording requirements of the standard. The second change is related to the reporting requirement for all businesses to report to OSHA certain types of incidents involving employee injuries, hospitalization and death.
Do the Recording Requirements Apply to My Business?
If a company has 10 or fewer employees in the entire company at all times during the year, it does not have to record injuries and keep the records required by the standard. Historically, businesses classified as low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industry were not required to keep the records. Appendix A to the old standard provided a complete listing of exempt businesses by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code. OSHA has eliminated some businesses from exempt status in the new version of the standard and includes the exempt businesses by reference to NAISC codes. The new standard that lists the exempt businesses is reproduced in Appendix A.
Do the Reporting Requirements Apply to My Business?
Even if your company is exempt from the recording requirements, it still must comply with the reporting requirements. The old standard required all employers to report to OSHA within eight hours of learning of any workplace fatality or the hospitalization of three or more employees which occurred within 30 days of a workplace incident. The new standard has broadened the reporting requirement to now include the hospitalization of one or more employees and any amputation or loss of an eye. As with the old standard, under the new standard the employer can call their local area office or 800-321-OSHA. The requirement to report deaths due to heart attack, which may not appear to be work-related but occurred at the workplace, is still a requirement of the standard.