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September 11, 2014

OSHA Issues New Reporting Rules for Severe Injuries

NOTICE report all injuries immediately
Today OSHA announced a final rule requiring employers to meet specific time frames when notifying OSHA of work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye. 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. 

Previous OSHA 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.

The new rule also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements. It will go into effect Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

The announcement follows preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, which show 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013.  

All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are still exempted from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses. OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to phone reporting options.

New Reporting Exemption List
In addition to the new reporting requirements, OSHA has also updated the list of industries that, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The previous list was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system, but the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System. The new list is based on updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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