Virginia employers may soon face stricter injury reporting rules. A proposed workplace safety bill aligning Virginia reporting requirements in cases of severe work-related injuries and fatalities with federal occupational safety and health reporting requirements is moving forward in the state legislature. By comparison, the state measure will hold employers to more strident reporting standards than under recent federal regulations.
Specifically, beginning January 1, 2015, new federal Occupational Safety and Health reporting regulations for severe injuries and illnesses took effect. The new rules require employers to report:
- Within eight hours: Any work-related fatality; and
- Within 24 hours:
- Any work-related in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees.
- Any work-related amputation.
- Any work-related loss of an eye.
If enacted, Virginia’s workplace safety bill (VA HB 1681) would require employers to report to the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry:
- Within eight hours any work-related incident resulting in:
- a fatality,
- the in-patient inpatient hospitalization of one or more persons,
- an amputation, or
- the loss of an eye.
What distinguishes Virginia’s bill from the federal standard is that Virginia’s proposed law would require all reportable incidents to be reported within eight hours of the incident, not just fatalities.
Under Virginia law, all employers will be required to post in the workplace an updated Virginia Job Safety and Health posting describing the new requirements if the bill succeeds. Compliance Poster Company is tracking the progress of the bill and will provide updates when available.