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OSHA’s New Reporting Requirements Will Not Apply In Kentucky

In September, we told you that the U.S. Department of Labor had published its final rule amending the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) reporting and recordkeeping regulations.  The new rule revises the reporting requirements regarding severe injuries and updates the list of industries partially exempt from recordkeeping requirements established in 29 CFR 1904.   As we explained, the new requirements go into effect in federal jurisdictions on January 1, 2015. However, since Kentucky operates an approved state plan, the new reporting requirements do not apply to employers in the Commonwealth.

Safety Inspector ChecklistIn 2006, Kentucky completely revamped its reporting regulation, 803 KAR 2:180. The state requirements differ from those in the current federal regulation, but are similar to the ones in the new rule. In order to maintain its state plan approval, Kentucky’s occupational safety and health program, KOSH, must remain at least as effective as the federal. Accordingly, Kentucky’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will have to compare the state’s current reporting regulation with the new federal one to determine if any changes need to be made. Federal OSHA requires state plans to act on new federal standards within six months, so any changes will have to be made at the Board’s May 2015 meeting.

Here is a reminder about what Kentucky employers must do to report fatalities and injuries:

  • Report the death of any employee or the hospitalization of three or more employees by calling the Kentucky Labor Cabinet at 502-564-3070 within eight hours. If no one is available to speak with in Frankfort, call 1-800-OSHA (1-800-321-6742).
  • Report an amputation or hospitalization of fewer than three employees by calling the Labor Cabinet within 72 hours of the incident. An amputation means an injury in which a portion of the body including bone tissue is removed.
  • The clock starts for reporting from the time the incident is reported to the employer, the employer’s agent, or another employee.

Watch this space for information about whether Kentucky decides to change its reporting regulation. If you have questions about any OSHA recordkeeping or reporting requirement, contact counsel for advice.

Kembra Sexton Taylor

Kembra Sexton Taylor, a partner located in the firm’s Frankfort office, practices in the areas of labor and employment, personnel, administrative, regulatory, appellate, and insurance defense law. She has extensive experience in representing clients regarding wage and hour, OSHA, state personnel, and other regulatory matters. She can be reached at taylor@mmlklaw.com or (502) 223-1200.

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

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