• TOP TIP: OSHA-Compliant Injury Reporting Policies
  • November 17, 2016
  • Law Firm: Shawe Rosenthal LLP - Baltimore Office
  • As we discussed in our May E-Update, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a revised Injury and Illness Reporting rule that, in part, specifies that the reporting procedure established by the employer must be reasonable and not discourage employees from reporting.

    Many employers have policies that require “immediate” reporting and may even discipline employees for failure to comply with this requirement. Under the new rule, this requirement would be problematic. OSHA recently announced a settlement with U.S. Steel over this issue, which included a reporting policy that other employers can now use as a model for their own reporting procedures. This policy, with U.S. Steel-specific provisions slightly modified, is as follows:

    OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS AND INJURY REPORTING POLICY

    It is important that all workplace injuries and illnesses are reported to management as soon as reasonably possible after they occur. Prompt reporting allows for prompt identification and correction of hazards and prompt medical attention for injuries. In some instances an employee may not immediately realize that s/he has been injured or made ill. In such circumstances, the employee must report the injury or illness as soon as reasonably possible after becoming aware of the injury or illness.

    Therefore, the following policy applies to work-related injury and illness reporting:

    1) An employee who is at work when s/he becomes aware of an injury or illness must report it as soon as reasonably possible, but in no event later than leaving the workplace or 8 hours after becoming aware of the injury or illness, whichever is earlier. The report must be made to the employee’s supervisor.

    2) An employee who is not at work when s/he becomes aware of an injury or illness must report it as soon as reasonably possible, but in no event later than 8 hours after becoming aware of the injury or illness. The employee must report the injury or illness by calling his/her supervisor and explaining that s/he is reporting a work-related injury or illness.

    3) No employee who complies with this policy will be disciplined for not promptly reporting an injury or illness.

    Supervisors must not interfere with, or attempt to discourage, reporting under this policy.