Agent Alert: New Year’s Greetings from OSHA
OSHA has announced some important changes in their reporting requirements, effective January 1, 2015. Unfortunately, OSHA seems to expect American businesses to drop whatever they are doing and read up on the new requirements. Lots of luck with that! In the interests of keeping agents ahead of the curve, here is a brief summary of the pending changes.
The changes fall into two categories: first, what specific injuries need to be reported and by whom (the list in both areas has expanded); second, which employers need to keep OSHA logs (again, the list has expanded.)
What needs to be reported?
Fatalities: These need to be reported by any and all employers within 8 hours. (No changes here.)
To be reported within 24 hours:
In-patient hospitalization for a work related injury. (Under prior OSHA rules, only hospitalization involving injuries to 3 or more employees had to be reported.)
Loss of an eye due to a work-related injury
Any work-related injury involving amputation - NOTE: under the new definition of amputation, loss of a finger tip (with no bone involvement) must be reported.
Hospitalization for heart attack, if work-related - NOTE: This is an extremely ambiguous requirement, as it is commonly not immediately evident whether work was a predominant factor in the heart attack.
NOTE: There are specific exceptions to the reporting requirements:
Work-related injuries due to motor vehicle accidents on a public street or highway do not have to be reported. However, any such events occurring in a construction work zone must be reported.
Injuries occurring on a commercial or public transportation system
Fatalities that occur more than 30 days after the initial accident
In-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye occurring more than 24 hours after an incident.
Who needs to keep OSHA logs?
The list of companies required to keep OSHA logs has expanded. Here are a few examples:
Auto dealers and Auto parts/tire stores
Specialty food stores
All beer wine & liquor stores
Lessors of real estate
Museums, historical sites
For a complete listing, visit the OSHA recordkeeping website; we will publish the complete list of newly included companies in a White Paper later this month. In addition to summarizing the new rules, the website provides step-by-step instruction on how to fill out OSHA logs.