OSHA Announces Injury Reporting Rule Changes Effective January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, employers of workplaces covered under federal OSHA jurisdiction will be required to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The final rule also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements. The recent rule update came shortly after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez had this to say in response to the report where 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. “We can do more to keep American’s safe and healthy. Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable and the new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of:

  • work-related fatalities within 8 hours,
  • work-related in-patient hospitalizations, and
  • amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours.

Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye are new under the update and sentinel events that indicate serious hazards are likely to be present. Immediate intervention could potentially reduce hazardous conditions and save lives.

Finally, OSHA updated the list of industries, that due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to keep injury and illness records. The new final rule uses the North American Industry Classification System instead of the Standard Industrial Classification System. The exception for an employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of the industry classification, still stands.

Optimistically, OSHA encourages states with State-Operated OSH plans to adopt the January 1, 2015 effective date for the new coverage provisions.

Compliance Poster Company‘s HR Research and Compliance Team members are available should you have questions about the final rule. Give us a call at 800.817.7678.