The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has beefed up its requirements for employers reporting severe injuries.

In updating its “Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements,” OSHA enacted a final rule that will require employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, as well as amputations and losses of an eye, to OSHA within 24 hours of the event.

The rule—which ties to the door and window, and industries—also maintains the requirement that employers report work-related fatalities within eight hours of the event.

OSHA’s announcement comes on the heels of preliminary results of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. According to the BLS, 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. The construction industry accounted for 796 of those workers, with specialty trade contractors making up 476 of those fatalities. 304 deaths were accounted for in the manufacturing sector.

“Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

OSHA’s previous regulations required an employer to only report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting of single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required.

The agency says benefits of the new rule include “allowing OSHA to use its resources more effectively by enabling the Agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at greatest risk, in general and/or from specific hazards, and target its compliance assistance and enforcement efforts accordingly.”

It adds that the rule increases “the ability of employers, employees and employee representatives to identify and abate hazards that pose serious risks to workers at their workplaces.”

The updated rule also includes a revised list of industries that are exempt from maintaining record-keeping of work-related injuries and illnesses “due to relatively low occupational and injury rates,” though construction is not on that list and is referred to as a “high-risk industry” in the 183-page rule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *