OSHA announces new requirements for reporting deaths and severe injuries

Fatalities must be reported within eight hours; rule in effect Jan. 1

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a final rule requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.

The announcement followed the release of preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries that reported 4,405 workers killed on the job in 2013. 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. To assist employers, OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to phone reporting options.


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