OSHA Announces New Reporting and Recording Rule

On September 11, 2014, OSHA announced a new rule addressing employers’ workplace fatality and injury reporting requirements.  Under the new rule, all employers must continue to report work-related fatalities to OSHA, but they will now also be obligated to report:  1) work-related in-patient hospitalizations of 1 or more employees; 2) work-related amputations; and 3) work-related losses of an eye.  Employers will have 8 hours to report fatalities and 24 hours to report the other events to OSHA.  Because OSHA will now be learning about more injuries in real-time, we suspect at least some employers may see an uptick in investigations and citations.

OSHA also updated the list of industries that are exempt from its work-related injury and illness recording requirements.  The new list is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding workplace illnesses and injuries and continues to include low-risk industries.  Employers with 10 or fewer employees remain exempt from federal OSHA’s recording requirements.

The new rule will go into effect on January 1, 2015 for employers operating in states under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction.  States with their own OSHA plans are required to adopt the same or a very similar rule, so employers operating in these states, including Minnesota, should plan to comply with the new rule and monitor any developments in state law to ensure compliance with any new state-specific requirements.

Please contact Lisa Schmid if you have any questions about the new rule, your reporting or recording obligations under OSHA, or how to handle OSHA compliance, investigations, or citations.