OSHA Changes Its Reporting Duties of Employers in Work-Related Injuries

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its reporting requirements when an employee dies on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. If an employee is severely injured, employers will now be required to immediately notify OSHA of the work-related fatality within 8 hours and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye within 24 hours. This shortened the timing that employers are required to notify OSHA of these serous injuries.

In the past, OSHA was required to report only work fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. In other words, if only one employee died or was seriously injured at work, no report to OSHA was required.

The new reporting rule goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015 and is particularly directed at workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction. This would exempt companies who employ 10 or fewer individuals regardless of the industry classification.

The National Bureau of Neighbor Statistics’ 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries stated that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in that year. Many, if not most, of the workplace injuries and fatalities were preventable. It is OSHA’s function to not just monitor fatalities and serious injuries, but to work with employers to prevent serious injuries and deaths in the workplace.

The new rule requires all employers who are covered by OSHA — even those exempt from maintaining injury and illness records — to comply with OSHA’s new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. OSHA has designed a web portal for employers to report incidents electronically. Hospitalizations and amputations are known as sentinel events that lead one to suspect that there are serious hazards present in the workplace that need to be remedied to prevent these injuries from recurring. Workplace injuries continue to be widespread and common in many industries. With new regulations and OSHA’s reporting requirement, it is believed that the effort is in place to significantly reduce these serious workplace injury occurrences.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling catastrophic workplace injuries for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Evergreen Park, Calumet Park, Calumet City, Harvey, Alsip, Blue Island, Oak Park, River Grove, Harwood Heights, Park Ridge, Northfield, Deerfield, Palatine, Naperville, Lemont, Chicago (Albany Park, Andersonville, Jefferson Park, Irving Park, Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Bucktown, Back of the Yards, Roscoe Village, Sauganash, South Loop), Hinsdale, Lemont, New Lenox and Oak Park, Ill.

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