Beginning January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will begin enforcing its new workplace reporting rules which requires quicker reporting of severe injuries within 24-hours and an employment fatality within 8-hours. The time to report begins when the employer learns of the injury and/or fatality.
Under the new regulations, a severe injury is characterized as:
- Work-related inpatient hospitalization regardless of duration;
- All amputations;
- All losses of an eye
Prior to this change, employers were only required to report fatalities and hospitalizations of three or more employees.
One of the significant changes is that the new severe injury reporting policy will apply to all employers covered by OSHA whereas the old reporting procedure did not apply to employers who were exempt from maintaining illness and injury records. This means most manufacturing employers as well as Towns and Municipalities will be required to comply with this new severe injury reporting policy and must prepare accordingly.
Because the new reporting rules are only two months away, now is the time to reexamine your policies to ensure you are in compliance as well as get your staff up to speed on OSHA’s requirements. Our team of labor and employment attorneys can assist you in preparing and examining your policies as well as training staff in proper health and safety reporting.