The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that they will be requiring employers to notify the OSHA of each employee on the job fatality as well as every time an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. Under the revised worker fatality and severe injury rule, employers will soon be required to notify OSHA of work-related employee deaths within eight hours of the employee passing, and within 24 hours of any work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye. The new rules will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.
The OSHA’s previous regulations required American employers to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations involving three or more employees, and reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required. The change comes after preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that an estimated 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013, and thousands more suffered severe injuries. According to the officials from the OSHA, the new regulation is designed to help the administration better regulate and hold businesses accountable for the safety of their workplace and workers. The primary motivation behind the federal crackdown on workplace injury reporting and record keeping is so that officials may better channel their efforts and resources on American businesses where large safety concerns exist.
The OSHA is also revising the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements. The new rule will continue to offer worker injuries and illnesses record keeping exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry. All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, including those with record keeping exemption, will be required to comply with the amended reporting requirements. The OSHA is reportedly developing a web site service portal that will allow businesses to report fatalities and severe injuries electronically in addition to the phone based system.
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