On January 1, 2015, OSHA’s new reporting requirements became effective. Under the new reporting requirements contained in Section 1904.39 employers are now required to report to OSHA any work-related hospitalization of one or more employee, an amputation, an eye loss or fatality.
In a December 16, 2014 interpretation letter, OSHA responded to a question on how to distinguish between an amputation, which is reportable, and an avulsion, which is not reportable. In addressing this question, OSHA stressed that in determining whether an amputation has occurred, employers should rely on the diagnosis of a health care professional. However, OSHA clarified that the types of avulsions that do not need to be reported include, “deglovings, scalpings, fingernail and toenail removal, eyelid removal, loss of a tooth, and severed ears.”
OSHA also clarified that merely the loss of sight is not reportable. OSHA stated, “loss of an eye is the physical removal of the eye….[l]oss of sight without the removal of the eye is not reportable under the requirements.” However, if the loss of sight resulted in an employee’s hospitalization within 24 hours of the work-related incident then the hospitalization, not the loss of sight, would be reportable.
A copy of this interpretation letter can be found on OSHA’s website here.