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OSHA Expands Employers' Reporting Requirements on January 1, 2015

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By John B. Stalzer

December 15, 2014

Effective January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will change its requirements concerning reporting occupational injuries, expanding both the type of injury that must be reported and the employers who are required to report it. 

Under the current rule, employers are required to report fatalities within 8 hours and inpatient hospitalization of three or more workers.  After January 1, employers are required to report all work-related fatalities, all work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees, all work-related amputations, and all work-related losses of an eye. 

Employers still must report fatalities within eight hours of finding out about them.  For work-related hospitalizations, amputation or eye loss, employers must report the work incident within twenty-four hours.  Any death of a worker must be reported if it occurs within 30 days of an incident.

Employers may satisfy reporting requirements by contacting the closest OSHA area office during normal business hours, the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA, or by reporting the incident electronically at osha.gov.

The new OSHA rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from maintaining records of occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log, 301 form, and 300A annual summary.  While an employer with ten or fewer employees will continue to be exempt from routine recordkeeping, the list of industries exempt due to low occupational injury and illness rates is now based on current data.  The new rule also requires recordkeeping from 25 new industries who were previously exempt from routine recordkeeping.  Establishments newly required to keep records include automobile dealers, specialty food stores, alcoholic beverage stores, museums, and other miscellaneous store retailers.              

OSHA believes that the new rule will facilitate its efforts to prevent fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses.  OSHA also touts that the rule change also increases the amount of information available to the public about workplace safety and health. 

The expansion of OSHA’s reporting requirements, however, will likely lead to more OSHA inspections and citations.  Therefore, employers should become familiar with the new rule.  For additional information and help in complying with OSHA’s new reporting requirements, please contact one of Reminger’s Employment Practices Liability attorneys.

This has been prepared for informational purposes only. It does not contain legal advice or legal opinion and should not be relied upon for individual situations. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between the Reader and Reminger. The information in this document is subject to change and the Reader should not rely on the statements in this document without first consulting legal counsel. 

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