Exclusively from Foa & Son
As you’ve likely heard, there are some important 2015 changes to OSHA reporting requirements.
The updated recordkeeping rule includes two key changes. First, OSHA regulations require certain employers to routinely keep records of serious employee injuries and illnesses. There are two classes of employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping records. The first is employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year; they were, and remain, exempt from the recordkeeping requirement.
Also exempted are employers in certain defined low hazard industries. Examples of this would include retail, finance, insurance and real estate and certain service industry employers under some circumstances. As of 2015 the rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from the recordkeeping requirement due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The old list of exempted industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1996- 1998. The new list of exempt industries is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from the BLS from 2007-2009. These are changes from prior rules, so if you were previously exempt from the recordkeeping requirement you need to check again to see if that’s still the case.
Another important change that applies to all employers, with no exceptions, is that the updated recordkeeping rule expands the list of severe injuries and illnesses that employers must report to OSHA. As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours (as before) but now all work-related inpatient hospitalization’s, amputations or loss of an eye must also be reported within 24 hours. This is a new requirement.
Should one of your employees suffer a work related injury as described above you must report it to OSHA, either by calling their toll free number at 1-800-321-OSHA(6742), calling your closest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours or using the new online form that you can find on their website. The post office is not an option to meet this requirement.
Bear in mind that these new rules are effective January 1, 2015 for employers located in states that are under Federal OSHA jurisdiction. Those located in states that have their own safety and health programs and regulations should check with their state plan for effective dates.