United States OSHA Regulations Changing January 1
An important change is taking place concerning OSHA reporting that will affect all US employers effective January 1, 2015. The change will require employers to report all work-related fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye. These reporting requirements apply to all employers under the OSHA jurisdiction, even those exempt from record-keeping requirements due to company size or industry. Previously, OSHA only required employers to report work-related fatalities and hospitalizations involving three or more employees.
Employers will have eight hours to report fatalities and 24 hours to report hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses, from the time they learn of it. Previously, all reporting was required to be done within eight hours. In addition, if a fatality does not immediately occur as a result of a work-related incident, but occurs within 30 days of the incident, it must be also be reported. A similar standard applies to inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses, although the window of time changes to 24 hours following the initial incident. Anything occurring after that window of time does not require reporting to OSHA.
Reporting capabilities have expanded, adding an online reporting option, in addition to calling the OSHA hotline or calling the nearest OSHA area office. When reporting, the following information is necessary: company name, location of incident, time of incident, type of event (fatality, hospitalization, amputation, eye loss), number of employees affected, names of employees affected, contact person and phone number, and brief description of incident. If operating in one of the 22 states governed by an OSHA-approved state plan, contact the local office for specific reporting instructions.
Employers do not have to report inpatient hospitalizations that were for testing or observation only or due to heart attacks stemming from work-related incidents. Incidents do not need to be reported if they resulted from an accident on a commercial or public transit system or public highway (unless it occurred in a construction zone).
The OSHA hotline number remains the same: 1-800-321-OSHA
The OSHA website will be available January 1: www.osha.gov/report_online
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by Stacey Wagner