Your 2015 New Year’s Resolution Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor – Update your OSHA Reporting!

December 16, 2014 at 3:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This posting is taken verbatim from the U.S. DOL’s blog:  http://blog.dol.gov/2014/12/15/a-new-year-new-osha-reporting-requirements/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-new-year-new-osha-reporting-requirements.

The New Year will be here before we know it! For employers under the federal jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that means more than just making resolutions, they will need to comply with new reporting requirements going into effect January 1, 2015.

OSHA-flowEmployers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident. Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

There will be three options for employers to report. They will be able to call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or report online.

Since announcing the new requirements in September, we’ve been conducting extensive outreach to make sure employers understand what to do when they go into effect. Just last week, we held a live Twitter chat to answer questions.

During the chat, we answered over a dozen questions. But we noticed a few that seemed to be on everyone’s mind. So, we decided to share with you a little FAQ:

Q: How can an employer confirm the report from an injury has been documented?

A: If you do it online, you will receive email confirmation. By phone, you will be speaking directly to OSHA representatives.

Q: What is the best URL on the OSHA site to point our branch offices to for details of their obligations to report?

A: The best way is to go to: http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014

Q: What constitutes formal admittance for care? Surgeries can be either outpatient or inpatient.

A: The hospital or clinic determines whether the worker was formally admitted as an in-patient.

We also have a variety of additional resources for employers including a dedicated webpage, more FAQs, a Fact Sheet, and a video I recorded to help explain the new requirements.

It’s important to remember that these updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will help employers and workers prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.

I think we can all agree that’s something to celebrate in the New Year.

Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health.

From the Sensenig Law Firm, P.A.:  As we make resolutions to get more exercise, spend more time with family, drink less, and eat healthier foods, let’s add “keep our business healthy” by ensuring compliance with OSHA to the list.  Consider designating someone to be your OSHA point person, make sure your logs and reports are kept up to date and maintained.  Take a look at the FAQ sheet as to what else you may need to do in case of a workplace injury – workers’ compensation is not your only concern.  To quote a favorite line from a venerable old TV show, “Be careful out there.”

Please be aware that reading this blog does not create an attorney client relationship, nor is any information provided in this considered to be legal advice.

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