- Employers will have to report a work-related fatality within eight hours
- Employers will have to report any inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours
- Employers can notify OSHA of reportable events by phone, calling or visiting a local office or through a website
- OSHA has also revised its list of partially exempt industries
Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will require employers to report any work-related employee fatality within eight hours and inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours. Employers will be required to submit these reports to OSHA by telephone at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), by calling or visiting the nearest area office during normal business hours or through a website that is currently under development.
This new requirement came as part of a new final rule that also updates the list of employers that are partially exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. As a result, many employers that are not currently required to maintain injury and illness records will lose their exempt status and will be expected to create and maintain in their establishments OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. OSHA will provide compliance assistance by reaching out and making training available to affected employers.
Presently, OSHA requires employers to report work-related fatalities and inpatient hospitalizations of three or more employees within eight hours of the event. The new rule maintains the requirement to report fatalities within eight hours, but requires reporting hospitalizations (regardless of how many employees are hospitalized), amputations and any loss of an eye within 24 hours.
In addition, OSHA currently allows certain employers to be partially exempt from its recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Qualifying employers are partially exempt because reporting requirements still apply, even though they are not required to maintain work-related injury and illness records. Employers qualify for a partial exemption if they:
- Have fewer than 10 employees (unless otherwise directed by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics); or
- Their establishments are classified as being part of a partially exempt industry.
Under the new final rule, the qualifications for partially exempt employers remain the same, but the list of partially exempt industries has been updated.
The Final Rule
The final rule will enable OSHA to conduct more accurate, timely investigations of the hazards that lead to serious injuries and illnesses in the workplace. The rule will also make OSHA’s reporting requirements more consistent with other federal and state agency requirements.
States with OSHA-approved state plans are required to notify OSHA within 60 days of whether they intend to adopt a standard or regulation that is identical or at least as effective as the new rule. State plans then have up to six months to adopt the new standard. State plans that adopt recordkeeping requirements that differ from federal requirements must identify and post on their website the differences between the federal and state requirements or submit the differences to OSHA with instructions on how the public can obtain this information. While state plans are merely encouraged to comply with the new rule by Jan. 1, 2015, their compliance is required by Jan. 1, 2016.
Revised Reporting Requirement
The final rule sets new time requirements for notifying OSHA of reportable events (fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye). A fatality must be reported whether it occurs immediately or if it occurs within 30 days of when the work-related incident took place. An inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye is a reportable event only if it takes place within 24 hours of the incident.
OSHA defines an inpatient hospitalization as “a formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.” Hospitalizations for observation or diagnostic testing are not reportable events. An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations can be full or partial, and they can happen with or without bone. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears or broken (or chipped) teeth.
Employers are not required to notify OSHA of a reportable event if the event is the result of a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway, unless the accident took place in a construction work zone. However, unless partially exempt, employers will need to keep a record of the incident. The same is true for incidents that occur on commercial or public transportation systems.
The reporting clock does not begin until the employer or its agents learn about the reportable event. OSHA offers the following illustration:
If an employee suffers a work-related injury at 9:00 a.m. and dies from that injury at 10:00 a.m., and the employer or the employer’s agent(s) learn of the fatality (the reportable event) at 10:00 a.m., then the employer would be required to report the fatality (the reportable event) to OSHA within eight hours of the fatality (the reportable event) – i.e., 6:00 p.m.
A complete report under the final rule must include:
- The employer’s name;
- The location of the reportable event;
- The time of the reportable event;
- The type of reportable event (fatality, hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye);
- The number of employees affected by a reportable event;
- The names of all employees affected by a reportable event;
- The employer’s contact person and his or her phone number; and
- A brief content:encoded of the work-related incident.
Revised List of Partially Exempt Industries
To create its list of partially exempt industries, OSHA uses data from a three-year sampling period. Industries with a DART rate lower than 75 percent of the average DART for the sampling period are allowed a partial exemption.
Currently this list uses DART rates from the 1996-1998 sampling period. The codes used to classify these industries are from the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.
The new list uses data from the 2007-2009 sampling period. The codes used for the new list match the codes used by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The new list of partially exempt industries allows OSHA to account for changes in the labor market and provides a refreshed perspective on low-hazard industries.
The one exception for the list of low-hazard industries is the “Employment Services” industry (NAICS 5613). This industry is not partially exempt under the new final rule. While the DART rate for this industry is technically under the 75 percentile, many employees within this industry may actually be required to work in non-exempt establishments, such as manufacturing.
Below is the new list of partially exempt industries:
Please note that the information contained in this document is designed to provide authoritative and accurate information, in regard to the subject matter covered. However, it is not provided as legal or tax advice and no representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This document should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.