OSHA is about to put into effect new workplace death and serious-accident reporting rules that will compel employers to report a much broader array of workplace incidents.
The new rules, which go into effect on Jan. 1, will require employers to alert OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye within 24 hours.
Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees.
Also, all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records (10 or fewer employees), are required to comply with OSHA’s new reporting requirements.
To complicate matters, OSHA has expanded the definition of amputations, so that even the loss of the tip of the finger, for example, without bone loss, now is considered an amputation, which is a reportable injury.
That, of course, could lead to a huge increase in the number of reportable incidents.
Also, OSHA has added about 25 new business types that will now be required to keep injury and illness records. Among those now on the list: Bakeries, auto dealers, building supply companies, beer, wine and liquor stores, and performing arts companies.
The idea, of course, is to make sure employers stay attentive to hazards and take action to prevent injuries or worse.
That’s not a bad thing. On the flip side, employers can expect a more intense OSHA focus when an accident occurs at their worksite.
If you’re an employer, we think your best strategy is to know what OSHA standards apply to you and make sure you are in full compliance.
About the Author
Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.