OSHA New Year Reporting Resolutions
The first day of autumn has come and gone, and 2015 is just 15 weeks away. We hate to put the idea of the holiday season in your mind so soon, but planning for the next business year is like a box that must be checked. And with a new year comes new requirements. For OSHA, that is.
For businesses in states that use Federal OSHA guidelines, the only injuries in the workplace that need to be reported to OSHA are fatalities and any work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees. However, OSHA’s updated recordkeeping rule has now changed those requirements. Effective January 1, 2015, OSHA is expanding the requirements to include a few other types of severe injuries. Starting January 1, the following injuries will need to be reported to OSHA:
- Work-related fatalities (within 8 hours)
- Work-related inpatient hospitalization of 1 or more employees (within 24 hours)
- Work-related amputations (within 24 hours)
- Work-related loss of an eye (within 24 hours)
A few important facts regarding these changes:
- The reporting timeframe requirements are not specific to when the incident actually happened, but when you learned of it. So, if an injury occurred during an overnight shift at 2 AM and no one knew about it until 8 AM, that’s when the timeframe actually begins.
- Historically, the definition of amputation was the loss of bone. The new recordkeeping rule doesn’t limit amputations to bone loss. Any partial or complete loss of a limb or appendage will be classified as an amputation. For example, if the tip of a finger is cut off, even if there is no bone loss, the incident will still need to be reported to OSHA.
- Inpatient hospitalization is defined by “formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.” This means, that in order for the incident to be reportable, the employee has to be admitted to the hospital (likely for an overnight stay). Receiving treatment at the hospital and being released the same day would not meet this requirement. If the employee is just being kept overnight for observation or diagnostic tests, the incident does not need to be reported.
- States with State OSHA Plans will also have to follow these reporting requirements, but the implementation dates may vary.
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