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OSHA Expands Requirements and Reclassifies Exemptions for Reporting Workers’ Injuries and Deaths

Publications - Client Alert | January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordkeeping rule will go into effect which may reveal higher daily death and injury numbers.

New Rule Requirements

The current rule only requires employers to report all work-related fatalities and work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees. The updated rule requires employers to report the following:

  • All fatalities
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees
  • All work-related amputations
  • All work-related losses of an eye 

All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report any of the above incidents including those who are partially exempt. The new list of exempt industries is classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Employers with ten or fewer employees will still remain exempt from the rule as well.

An employer must report a fatality within eight (8) hours of discovery but such fatalities are limited to those deaths occurring within 30 days of a work-related incident. For any inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, an employer must report the incident within twenty-four (24) hours of discovery, but such reportable incidents are limited to hospitalizations, amputations and eye losses occurring within twenty-four (24) hours of a work-related incident. The reports require the following information:

  • Establishment Name
  • Location of the Work-Related Incident
  • Time of the Work-Related Incident
  • Type of Reportable Event
  • Number of Employees who suffered the Event
  • Names of Employees who suffered the Event
  • Contact person and his or her telephone number
  • Brief Description of Work-Related Incident 
What Employers Need to Know

Employers need to be aware of the updated recordkeeping rule and understand the impact on them. If the employer is located in a state that has its own state reporting plan including Arizona, California, Maryland, Tennessee, and Virginia, the effective date may be later than Jan. 1, 2015. It is imperative that all employers, regardless of past exemption, review the updated rule to determine their current exemption status. Nearly 200,000 additional employers will now be required to keep injury records including bakeries, automobile dealers, specialty food stores, and liquor stores are no longer exempt under the updated rule. The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a brief tutorial on how to complete the forms required by the new recordkeeping rule for those employers not already familiar with the forms.

Additional Information

For more information about these decisions, please contact your Kutak Rock attorney.