Workers Comp: New OSHA Rule Shortens Reporting Deadlines for Workplace Injuries
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) last month announced its final rule significantly altering an employer’s obligation for reporting workplace injuries to the federal agency. The new rule, effective January 1, 2015, is as follows:
- Employers are required to notify OSHA of a workplace fatality within eight hours of the worker’s death.
- Employers are required to notify OSHA when one or more workers are hospitalized. Notification is required within 24 hours.
- Employers are required to notify OSHA when a worker experiences an amputation or loses an eye. Notification is required within 24 hours.
The new rule is a change from the current requirement in that it not only shortens the timeframe for reporting workplace facilities but it also mandates reporting in additional situations. Under the current rules, for example, employers do not necessarily have to report to OSHA when a worker experienced an amputation or the loss of an eye. Employers are also required to report only when three or more workers are hospitalized under the current rules. After January, however, if just one worker suffers an injury severe enough for hospitalization, OSHA must be alerted.
All employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act are required to comply with OSHA’s new reporting requirements, even employers who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records. Reports can be made to the nearest OSHA Area Office, by phone or on the agency’s web portal, which is under development.
According to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, the change to the reporting rules is a positive step forward as it’s designed to make the agency better able to “identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly.” While it’s unclear the extent to which inspection and enforcement initiatives will increase, the legal community indeed anticipates a boost in required reporting and OSHA inspections, and, potentially, citations and fines.
Caitlin Morgan has specialized in the placement of guaranteed cost Worker’s Compensation for many years. We also provide large deductible programs, self-insurance programs and captive programs for Worker’s Compensation. To discuss the programs we offer, contact us at 877.226.1027.