OSHA’s New Injury Reporting Requirements

They were three years in the making, but OSHA has finally released its updates reporting requirements for injuries and has changed the types of industries that need to meet the requirements.    You can read about it here and you really should take the time to read it, because some of the changes are significant.   Here’s how OSHA describes it:

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.

The rule also changes the way OSHA determines who needs to keep OSHA 300 logs from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) to the   North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).  The change allows the agency to drill a little deeper in terms of incident statistics.  Again, you need to read the background because there are winners and losers in any change like this.  Overall, OSHA says it will increase the total number of companies reporting by about four percent.

What the rulemaking does not seem to do is make reporting any less confusing.   A new study by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries found that about 90% of companies surveyed mess up some part of the OSHA reporting requirement.  Most of the recommendations that the study authors make to fix the problem center on the need for OSHA to revise the form and instructions and to do a better job of educating people on the requirements.   If this study is truly representative, it calls into question whether any of the statistics that OSHA pulls from the reports is accurate, but it does not look like that gets addressed in the new rule.   You can read more about the study on the always informative Safety and OSHA News Website.

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