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peopleOn Sep­tem­ber 11, 2014, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor’s Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Admin­is­tra­tion (OSHA) announced a final rule which updates the report­ing and record-keep­ing require­ments for injuries and ill­ness­es, found at 29 C.F.R. 1904. The rule goes into effect on Jan­u­ary 1, 2015.

Changes to record-keep­ing requirements

Under OSHA’s record-keep­ing reg­u­la­tion, cer­tain cov­ered employ­ers are required to pre­pare and main­tain records of seri­ous occu­pa­tion­al injuries and ill­ness­es using the OSHA 300 Log. How­ev­er, there are two class­es of employ­ers that are par­tial­ly exempt from rou­tine­ly keep­ing injury and ill­ness records:

  • Employ­ers with 10 or few­er employ­ees at all times dur­ing the pre­vi­ous cal­en­dar year; and
  • Estab­lish­ments in cer­tain low-haz­ard industries.

The new rule main­tains the exemp­tion for employ­ers with few­er than 10 employ­ees. How­ev­er, the new rule has an updat­ed list of indus­tries that will be par­tial­ly exempt from keep­ing OSHA records. The pre­vi­ous list of par­tial­ly exempt indus­tries was based on the old Stan­dard Indus­tri­al Clas­si­fi­ca­tion (SIC) sys­tem and injury and ill­ness data from the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics (BLS) from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The new list of par­tial­ly exempt indus­tries in the updat­ed rule is based on the North Amer­i­can Indus­try Clas­si­fi­ca­tion Sys­tem (NAICS) and injury and ill­ness data from the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics (BLS) from 2007, 2008, and 2009. As a result, many employ­ers who were once exempt­ed from OSHA’s record­keep­ing require­ments are now required to keep records. A list of new­ly cov­ered indus­tries can be found at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/reporting_industries.html.

Changes to the report­ing requirements

In addi­tion to revis­ing the record-keep­ing require­ments, the new rule expands the list of severe injuries and ill­ness­es that employ­ers must report to OSHA. Under the pre­vi­ous rule, employ­ers were required to report the fol­low­ing events to OSHA:

  • All work-relat­ed fatalities.
  • All work-relat­ed hos­pi­tal­iza­tions of three or more employees.

Under the new rule, employ­ers must report the fol­low­ing events to OSHA:

  • All work-relat­ed fatalities.
  • All work-relat­ed in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tions of one or more employees.
  • All work-relat­ed amputations.
  • All work-relat­ed loss­es of an eye.

For any fatal­i­ty that occurs with­in 30 days of a work-relat­ed inci­dent, employ­ers must report the event with­in eight hours of find­ing out about it.

For any in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, ampu­ta­tion, or eye loss that occurs with­in 24 hours of a work-relat­ed inci­dent, employ­ers must report the event with­in 24 hours of learn­ing about it.

Employ­ers do not have to report an event if the event:

  • Result­ed from a motor vehi­cle acci­dent on a pub­lic street or high­way, except in a con­struc­tion work zone; employ­ers must report the event if it hap­pened in a con­struc­tion work zone.
  • Occurred on a com­mer­cial or pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tem (air­plane, sub­way, bus, fer­ry, street car, light rail, train).
  • Occurred more than 30 days after the work-relat­ed inci­dent in the case of a fatal­i­ty or more than 24 hours after the work-relat­ed inci­dent in the case of an in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, ampu­ta­tion, or loss of an eye.

Employ­ers do not have to report an in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion if it was for diag­nos­tic test­ing or obser­va­tion only. An in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion is a for­mal admis­sion to the in-patient ser­vice of a hos­pi­tal or clin­ic for care or treatment.

Employ­ers do have to report an in-patient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion due to a heart attack, if the heart attack result­ed from a work-relat­ed incident.

What to report

Employ­ers report­ing a fatal­i­ty, inpa­tient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, ampu­ta­tion, or loss of an eye to OSHA must report all of the fol­low­ing information:

  • The name of the establishment.
  • The loca­tion of the work-relat­ed incident.
  • The time of the work-relat­ed incident.
  • The type of reportable event (i.e., fatal­i­ty, inpa­tient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, ampu­ta­tion, or loss of an eye).
  • The num­ber of employ­ees who suf­fered the event.
  • The names of the employ­ees who suf­fered the event.
  • The con­tact per­son and his or her phone number.
  • A brief descrip­tion of the work-relat­ed incident.

How to report

Employ­ers can use the fol­low­ing three options to report an event:

  • Call the near­est OSHA Area Office dur­ing nor­mal busi­ness hours.
  • Call the 24-hour OSHA hot­line (800–321-OSHA or 800–321-6742).
  • Report an inci­dent elec­tron­i­cal­ly (OSHA is devel­op­ing a new means of report­ing events elec­tron­i­cal­ly, which will be released soon and will be acces­si­ble on OSHA’s website).

Con­clu­sion

It is rec­om­mend­ed that employ­ers famil­iar­ize them­selves with the final rule and train per­son­nel accord­ing­ly. All employ­ers under OSHA juris­dic­tion, even those who are exempt from main­tain­ing injury and ill­ness records, are required to com­ply with the new severe injury and ill­ness report­ing requirements.

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