• New OSHA Requirements for Reporting Severe Workplace Injuries Goes Into Effect on January 1st
  • January 6, 2015 | Author: Timothy C. Haughee
  • Law Firm: Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed Professional Association - Orlando Office
  • Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a final rule that requires employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. The new rule will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

    In September 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report indicating that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. Commenting on the report, Thomas E. Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, noted that the new rule was being implemented “to help OSHA focus its resources” and to “hold employers accountable” for preventing severe workplace injuries.

    The new rule requires employers to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight (8) hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within twenty-four (24) hours. Prior OSHA regulations provided that employers should only report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three (3) or more employees. Those regulations did not require the reporting of single hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye.

    The new rules applies to all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (i.e., nearly all non-public employers). In an effort to assist employers with the new, more rigorous reporting requirements, OSHA is developing a web portal for employers to report incidents electronically (in addition to existing phone reporting options).