Archive for September, 2014

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Sep 2014
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New OSHA Reporting Rules Provide Insight into On-the-Job Risks in Providence

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires workers to report when injuries occur on-the-job. Reporting is necessary so that OSHA investigations can be triggered and accurate records kept regarding the number of people who are hurt and killed in different work environments. 

A workers’ compensation lawyer knows that there are too few OSHA inspectors and that most workplaces are not inspected frequently. It is important for OSHA to be notified when someone gets hurt so problem businesses can be identified and made to improve working conditions for employees. OSHA is taking steps to ensure that more injuries and fatalities are reported in order for the agency to be more effective at protecting workers.

New OSHA reporting requirements could help to ensure that OSHA is notified in more situations and more quickly when an injury happens so more accurate and comprehensive evaluations can be conducted.

New OSHA Reporting Requirements

The new OSHA reporting rules will go into effect on January 1, 2015. Under the new rules, employers are now required to notify OSHA of:

  • Workplace fatalities within eight hours of the time that the employee is killed.
  • In-patient hospitalizations of one or more workers within 24 hours of the time when the worker is admitted to the hospital.
  • Amputations or the loss of an eye within 24 hours of the incident occurring.

Under current rules, companies are required to make a report to OSHA only if three or more employees are hospitalized. Companies are also not currently required to make a report to OSHA after the loss of an eye or after an amputation.

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health stated: “OSHA will now receive crucial reports of fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses that will significantly enhance the agency’s ability to target our resources to save lives and prevent further injury and illness. This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly.”

In addition to changing circumstances under which injuries and deaths must be reported, the new OSHA rules also update the list of industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA up-to-date on injury and illness records. These are industries where there are relatively few workplace deaths and illnesses. The old list of industries exempt from reporting was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) that was devised from data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The new list of exempt industries is instead based on the North American Industry Classification System, which was developed from much more recent data collected by the BLS In 2007, 2008, and 2009.

These changes ensure that more industries will need to report workplace illnesses and injuries if they are no longer as safe as they once were; and also ensures that OSHA has better information about how workers are getting hurt on-the-job.

Contact a Providence, RI work accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl at 508-677-4900 or visit http://www.dgklaw.com to schedule your free consultation.