Heads up: Starting Jan. 1, 2015, companies under federal OSHA jurisdiction will have to follow some revised injury reporting regulations.
As of Jan. 1, all employers must report:
- all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, and
- all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.
There are three ways to do this:
- Call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)
- Call your closest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours, or
- Use the new online form that OSHA says will soon be available (OSHA says this won’t be ready until “mid January”).
(State-plan states are encouraged by federal OSHA to also update their recordkeeping rules on Jan. 1, but states may have later effective dates, up to one year later.)
Another significant change is exactly which industries must routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records.
The previous list of industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and federal injury data from 1996-1998. The new list of industries that are exempt is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and federal injury data from 2007-2009.
The new rule retains the exemption for any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of industry classification.
OSHA lists 82 industries (using 4-digit NAICS codes) that are now exempt. Some examples:
- radio and TV broadcasting
- accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
- electronics and appliance stores
- medical and diagnostic laboratories
- gasoline stations
- clothing stores
- pipeline transportation of crude oil
- scenic and sightseeing transportation
- dentist offices.
OSHA also lists 25 industries that are newly required to keep records, including:
- bakeries and tortilla manufacturing
- automobile dealers
- building material and supplies dealers
- specialty food stores
- beer, wine, and liquor stores
- lessors of real estate
- consumer goods rental
- facilities support services
- performing arts companies
- special food services.
Any new or revised regulation from OSHA is sure to bring lots of questions. Here are some points that have been raised:
- If you report online, you will get an email confirmation.
- OSHA will start actually enforcing this regulation on Jan. 1, 2015. The agency’s final enforcement policy (instructions to its inspectors) wasn’t available as of late December.
- Hospitals themselves determine what constitutes a formal hospitalization.
- When employers call to report, OSHA will engage in a conversation with the employer. This is a new approach for the agency to inquire as to how the event occurred and what type of investigation the employer will do to determine the cause.
- Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. In-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.
OSHA has also produced this infographic to help employers decide if they have an injury or illness they have to report: