The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Labor, will require employers to adhere to its revised standards for reporting workplace fatalities and injuries, starting January 1, 2015. It indicated the new reporting policy applies to employers under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction; employers under the jurisdiction of individual states’ OSHA programs should contact the respective agency for the implementation date.
The new standards were developed with employers’ input over the course of the past 12 months, and issued as a final rule in September. At the start of the revision effort, OSHA explained that streamlining the reporting of injury/illness data to improve workplace safety and health by improving tracking of workplace safety incidents. It emphasized then that the reportable data is “information that employers are already required to keep”.
The previous reporting standard required employers were to report all workplace fatalities and singular incidents involving hospitalization for three or more workers.
Starting January 1, employers will be required to report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours, and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of learning of the incident.
Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.
“The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork,” according to the agency, “but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.”
Employers are able to submit the reports to OSHA in three ways: They can call the local OSHA area office during normal business hours; call the 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA / 1-800-321-6742); or report at www.osha.gov/report_online.