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OSHA Issues New Reporting and Recordkeeping Rules

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 10/1/2014
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Employers will soon have new rules to follow after experiencing workplace injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published regulations regarding the reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (“Act”). These new rules, which become effective on January 1, 2015, modify an employer’s obligation to report workplace injuries and illnesses to OSHA and to routinely keep records of injuries and illnesses.

Reporting Requirements

Though a majority of workplace injuries and illnesses do not have to be reported to OSHA, some do. Like the current rules, the new rules require employers to notify OSHA within 8 hours of an employee’s work-related death. Under the new rules, employers are no longer required to notify OSHA of any work-related hospitalization of 3 or more employees. However, under the new rules, employers will be required to notify OSHA within 24 hours of any work-related incident that results in:

  • the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees (the formal admission to a hospital or clinic for care or treatment, rather than merely observation or diagnostic testing);
  • an employee’s amputation (the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part); or
  • the loss of an employee’s eye.

Employers may report these workplace fatalities and injuries by:

  • calling or visiting the OSHA office nearest to the site of the incident;
  • calling OSHA’s toll-free central telephone number (800-321-OSHA); or
  • electronic submission using the reporting application at www.osha.gov.

Employers may NOT use voicemail, fax or email to report these workplace fatalities and injuries. The new rules require employers to provide the following information to OSHA:

  • the employer’s name;
  • the location and time of the work-related incident;
  • the type of reportable event (fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye);
  • the number of employees injured or killed;
  • the names of these employees
  • a contact person and phone number; and
  • a brief description of the work-related incident.

Recordkeeping Requirements

OSHA’s recordkeeping rules require employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log. However, some employers may be exempt from this requirement due to their size or industry classification, unless they are asked to do so by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Size. Employers with ten or fewer employees in the entire company at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records. This exemption, which applies regardless of an employer’s industry classification, remains under OSHA’s new rules.

Industry Classification. Employers in certain low-hazard industries may also be exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records. Current OSHA rules provide a list of the industries that are eligible for this exemption, which is based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system. Under the new rules, an updated list using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) identifies which industries qualify for the exemption. Updated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was also used by OSHA to create the updated list of exempt industries.

There are some newly-exempt industries under the updated industry classifications, such as newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, full-service restaurants, shoe stores and clothing stores. There are also some newly-non-exempt industries, such as bakeries, new and used car dealers, liquor stores, museums and art galleries.

Though dealing with workplace injuries and illnesses can be difficult on many levels, employers must remember their obligation to comply with any applicable reporting or recordkeeping requirements. Otherwise, an already difficult situation is likely to get worse.

Additional information is available in The Human Equation’s library of Workplace Safety and Human Resources online courses. If you have any questions, please contact us.

The Human Equation prepares all risk management and insurance content with the professional guidance of Setnor Byer Insurance and Risk.

 

Comments

7/7/2016 11:42:43 AM #

Nudge, Nudge. OSHA Revises Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

Nudge, Nudge. OSHA Revises Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

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