New Year, New OSHA Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

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Happy new year, everybody, and for many of you, welcome to your first day of work in 2015.  Now that the champagne toasts have been made, sundry objects have been dropped from cranes and some old acquaintances have been forgot, it’s time to get down to business.  Serious business.

Specifically, the business of OSHA compliance.

Friday ForumThe new year has ushered in a new era of workplace injury and illness reporting that you need to know about as your crews return to their jobsites.  The new rule requires reporting to OSHA of all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours.  Previously, OSHA had required all employers to report to OSHA all work-related employee fatalities or the hospitalization of three or more employees from a single incident within 8 hours of the accident.  It is important to note that while the new rule doesn’t alter the routine injury reporting exemption enjoyed by companies with fewer than 10 employees, such employers must report any severe injuries covered by the new rule.

The U.S. Department of Labor (@USDOL) tweeted a reminder about the change earlier this week:

The Department also has issued a fact sheet explaining the new regulatory framework; here are some of the highlights:

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report:
  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.
  • You can report to OSHA by:
    • Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)
    • Calling your closest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours
    • Using the new online form that will soon be available
As most of you are aware, North Carolina administers its own OSHA program through the state-level Department of Labor (@NCDOL).  That agency has issued its own flow-chart facilitating compliance with the new rule in the Tarheel State:

NC Injury ReportingIt also tweeted out a helpful 1-minute YouTube video summarizing the changes:

A “quick card” from The North Carolina Department of Labor’s website provides the following definitions for “in-patient hospitalization” and “amputation”:

In-patient hospitalization is a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.
An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part.  Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage,that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medicalamputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations ofbody parts that have since been reattached.  Amputations do not include avulsions (tissue torn away from the body), enucleations (removal of the eyeball), deglovings (skin torn away from the underlying tissue), scalpings (removal of the scalp), severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.

Friday Forum MicrophoneWhat steps has your organization taken to prepare for the new requirements?  Do you anticipate the change having much impact on your company’s operations and/or costs?

I would love to hear from you.  The Friday Forum microphone is all yours!

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