Even though it’s been nearly 3 years since OSHA changed their injury reporting requirements, there are still many cases of injuries not being reported on time or at all. This results in unnecessary citations and fines. With this in mind, we’d like to offer a brief refresher on the OSHA Injury Reporting rules that went into effect in 2015.
Question: When did the new injury reporting rules take effect?
Answer: The new injury reporting rules went into effect on January 1, 2015.
Question: What were the changes?
Answer: Previously, all employers under the jurisdiction of OSHA were required to report only fatalities and hospitalizations of 3 or more employees. Under the new/current rules, all employers under the jurisdiction must report the following:
- All work-related fatalities must be reported within 8 hours.
- All in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye must be reported within 24 hours of finding out about the event.
Question: How does OSHA define “amputation”?
Answer: OSHA defines an amputation as the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.
Question: How does OSHA define “in-patient hospitalization”?
Answer: OSHA defines inpatient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.
Question: If I am an employer who is exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records due to company size – such as companies with 10 or fewer employees who do not have to routinely keep injury and illness records – or industry do I need comply with the new reporting rules?
Answer: Yes, all employees under the jurisdiction of OSHA are required to comply with the reporting rules. The size standard referenced above only applies to the need to keep an OSHA 300 Log.
Question: What if the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye does not happen immediately?
Answer: Fatalities that occur after 30 days of the work-related incident are EXEMPTED from the reporting requirements. in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye that occur after 24 hours are EXEMPTED from the reporting requirements. In other words, only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident and only in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye that occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident are required to be reported.
Question: Are there any other exemptions?
Answer: Yes. Other exemptions include:
- If an injury resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway, except in a construction work zone; employers must report the event if it happened in a construction work zone.
- If an injury occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, subway, bus, ferry, street car, light rail, train).
- Employers do not have to report an in-patient hospitalization if it was for diagnostic testing or observation only. An in-patient hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.
- Employers do have to report an in-patient hospitalization due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.
Question: What information will OSHA require when reporting a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye?
Answer: OSHA will require the following minimum information at the time of reporting:
- The establishment name;
- The location of the work-related incident;
- The time of the work-related incident;
- The type of reportable event (i.e., fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye);
- The number of employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;
- The names of the employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;
- Your contact person and his or her phone number; and
- A brief description of the work-related incident.
Question: How can I report a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye?
Answer: There are three ways for employers to notify OSHA:
- Contact the nearest OSHA area office during normal business hours.
- Call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742).
- Report the incident online at www.osha.gov/report_online.
If the local office is closed, an employer should report the incident by contacting the 800 number or reporting it on the website.
Question: If I report a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye will OSHA conduct an inspection/investigation?
Answer: In my experience, absolutely.
Submitted By: Richard L. Barcum, CIH, CSP, CHMM
President, Cardinal Compliance Consultants, LLC
www.cardinalhs.net | Phone: (419) 882-9224