Beginning January 1, 2015, all workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction must now report any severe injuries or fatalities to even 1 single person.
Under the new OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements, any single work-related fatality must be reported within 8 hours. In-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or eye loss to even 1 person must be reported within 24 hours. Visits to the ER for first aid only—without a hospital stay—do not need to be reported.
“All employers are required to track and report injuries at their workplace,” said Tom Smith, Director of Safety Consulting and Training at IBT Industrial Solutions. “If you have more than 11 employees, you must also record these incidents on the OSHA 300 log. It’s your responsibility as the business owner to be aware of the new regulations.”
Under the old guidelines, businesses had to report a single fatality within 8 hours of learning about it, but was only required to report incidents in which 3 or more employees were hospitalized within 30 days of the incident.
Employers who need to report an injury or fatality should call 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742). OSHA will then visit the site and perform an inspection. An entry must also be recorded on the company’s OSHA 300 log. The OSHA 300A log should be posted publicly from February 1—April 30 each year, using OSHA’s guidelines for recording work-related injuries and illnesses.
Companies that don’t comply risk incurring fines. The change is part of an overall effort to reduce preventable injuries for American workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013.
“Hopefully, there’s never a need to call,” Smith said. “But things do happen. It’s important to be aware of the new guidelines and follow OSHA’s recommended reporting and documentation procedures.”