OSHA Expands Requirements For Reporting Severe Injuries And Fatalities

A final rule announced September 11, 2014 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 rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

“Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, 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 loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.
Employers can report these events by telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours or the 24-hour OSHA hotline 1-800-321-OSHA [6742].

OSHA has posted a new Website with plain language materials about the new requirements. For more information on the industries now exempt from keeping records or new industries now covered, visit www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014. OSHA has also posted training material and other guidance on how to keep OSHA records to make it easy for newly covered employers to comply.