Take note, employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (that means most of you): As of January 1, 2015, you are required to comply with new reporting and recordkeeping requirements promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Here are the key changes:

  • The new rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA.  As in the past, employers must report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours.  Under the new rule, employers must also report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, all amputations, and all losses of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours.  Note that these requirements apply to all employers covered by OSHA – even those that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records (see below).  Employers can make the required reports by calling OSHA’s toll-free confidential hotline (1-800-321-OSHA), by calling their closest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours, or, in the near future, by completing and submitting an online form that will soon be available on OSHA’s website.
  • The new rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records.  This list is comprised of various low-hazard industries with relatively low occupational injury and illness rates.  The list has been updated based on new injury and illness data.  (The new rule maintains the exemption for employers with 10 or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year.)

Employers should review the new rule to ensure compliance and alert any HR, legal, or supervisory employees who may have reporting responsibilities in the case of a workplace accident.  Employers in locations with state OSHA programs should review state-specific rules for reporting and recordkeeping, as well as any state-specific implementation deadlines.