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OSHA’s New Regulations Increase Employers’ Reporting Responsibilities

On September 11, 2014, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released a new rule which will significantly increase the type of injuries that must be reported to the agency. The new rule maintains the requirement for employers to notify OSHA of any workplace fatalities within eight (8) hours. Now, in addition, employers are required to report all hospitalizations, plus any injuries that result in amputations or loss of an eye within twenty-four (24) hours. According to OSHA Administrator David Michaels, the expanded reporting requirements for severe injuries will result in employers being “more likely to take the steps necessary to better protect the lives and limbs of their employees.” Michaels said OSHA will use the data they receive to better target industries that need to do more to prevent injuries.

Safety Inspector Checklist

It is important to note that 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. The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction. OSHA is encouraging States with OSHA-approved job safety and health programs to implement the new requirements by the same date, but employers will need to verify State plan changes or contact legal counsel for more information.

Employers should report fatalities or severe injuries by phone to the nearest local OSHA office during business hours. Alternatively, the 24-hour OSHA hotline may be used after business hours. Currently, an electronic reporting method is in the works. Employers should be aware that all reports garnered by the new final rule will be made public on OSHA’s website.

If you have any questions about OSHA or your reporting obligations, contact legal counsel today.

B. Johnson

 

 

 

 

Brandon K. Johnson is an Associate in the Louisville, KY office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. Mr. Johnson practices primarily in the areas of insurance defense, employment law, and general litigation. He can be reached at bjohnson@mmlk.com or at (502) 327-5400.

This article is intended as a summary of state and federal law and does not constitute legal advice.

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