OSHA’s New Reporting Requirements

OSHA’s New Reporting Requirements

By: JAMES SHELTON, M.S., Compliance Assistance Specialist
Houston North OSHA Area Office

In 2013, OSHA launched a new initiative focused on temporary workers and hazards they encounter in the workplace. This initiative was launched after a noticeable increase of reports of temporary worker fatalities, many of which occurred on the first day on the job. Staffing agencies and their customers are jointly responsible for ensuring safe working environments for temporary workers. That also means that staffing companies are responsible for specific reporting responsibilities.

Beginning January 1, 2015 there was a change to what covered employers are required to report to OSHA. Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a lifesaving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

•    An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. It includes 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; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached.
•    In-patient hospitalizations only for diagnostic testing or observation do not have to be reported.
•    If the death occurs after 30 days of the incident, it is recorded but not reported to OSHA. If the in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye occurs more than 24 hours after the incident, it is recorded if it meets the criteria for record ability but not reported. It’s always important to keep in mind “record ability” and “report ability” are two separate issues.

Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA:
1.    Call the nearest area office during normal business hours
2.    Call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at (800) 321-OSHA (6472)
3.    Report online at www.osha.gov/report_online.

Links to more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, are available at www.osha.gov.

For additional information, to ask questions, or to find out about OSHA’s free on-site consultation service for small business (which is separate from enforcement), contact Jim Shelton at shelton.james@dol.gov at the Houston North OSHA Office.