Fatalities and accidents involving serious injuries will have to be reported to OSHA promptly under the agency’s new requirements.
The proposed rule specifies that every work-related fatality must be reported within eight hours and any hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours by every employer, regardless of size, under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Previously, employers were required to report only work- related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required. The new requirements appeared in the Federal Register on September 18 and goes into effect on January 1, 2015.
"Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment," said OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels. “This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly."
OSHA is developing a web portal for employers to report incidents electronically. The electronic reporting form is under development. Until it is available, employers can report by calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321- OSHA (6742) or by contacting the nearest OSHA area office.
In addition to the new reporting requirements, OSHA has updated the list of industries exempt from having to routinely keep injury and illness records due to their relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The previous list was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. The new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to classify establishments by industry. The new list is based on updated injury and illness data from 2007 through 2009 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, is exempt from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.