OSHA’s New Injury Reporting Rules For 2015

On September 11, 2014, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) revised and updated its requirements for reporting work-related fatalities, injuries, and illness information. The new rule is effective January 1, 2015.  The rule also updates the list of employers who are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements and adds new industries   now required to keep records.

The new rule maintains the requirement of reporting all work-related fatalities within eight (8) hours of learning of the event. The most important amendment, however, is the new requirement of reporting all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, as well as amputations and losses of an eye, to OSHA within 24 hours of the event. The previous rule only required reporting of in-patient hospitalizations if three (3) or more people were hospitalized. Now, if a single employee is hospitalized within 24 hours of a work-related incident, the employer must notify OSHA. This new amendment is likely to result in more OSHA inspections following in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye.

The new reporting regulations affect all employers covered by OSHA, even those who are partially exempt from maintaining injury and illness records. As noted above, the new changes go into effect January 1, 2015, for workers under the federal OSHA jurisdiction, and employers covered by state plans will need to check with their state to determine when new rules will be implemented.

As in the past, certain low risk industries are exempt from the recordkeeping regulations. However, based on the most recent injury and illness statistics gathered by OSHA, the list of industries exempt has been changed and new industries have been included in the requirement of maintaining records. For a list of the new industries that are now exempt and the new industries that are now included, see www.osha.gov/recordkeeping.

For further information concerning the implementation and the applicability of these new requirements, please contact Paul Schumacher.