Proposed Rule Clarifies Employer’s Duty to Report Work Injuries

A rule proposed by The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would clarify an employer’s obligation in maintaining accurate records of recordable injuries and illnesses. Although the rule will not change which types of injuries and illnesses are recordable, it will clarify an employer’s ongoing duty to report.

The injuries and illnesses that mandate reporting and are considered “recordable” include death; injuries requiring more than basic medical treatment; loss of consciousness; injuries resulting in job activity restriction; and a diagnosis of a significant injury by a health care professional. OSHA provides specific forms to log the incidents which employers are expected to review annually to check for accuracy. The purpose of keeping such records is to ensure that employers are maintaining a safe working environment. Failure to maintain such records is a violation. The proposed rule clarifies that even if an employer did not initially report the injury, they are still required to report in accordance with their ongoing duty.

The proposed rule stems from the majority opinion in a recent D.C. Circuit case. The court held that “a citation issued later than… six months of the first day on which the regulations require the recording…is barred by the OSH Act’s statute of limitations.” Because the court considered the language in the OSH Act to be vague, it determined that there was no continuing obligation of an employer to report. The proposed rule clarifies that reporting an injury, illness or death is an ongoing obligation for a period of five years. OSHA may cite for a failure to report for up to six months after the period ends.

The proposed rule will be available for viewing and public comment from July 29, 2015- September 27, 2015. Click here to read the proposed rule.

If you have been injured in an employment related accident, or due to an OSHA violation, you may be entitled to receive Workers’ Compensation.

Contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney who can best advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.  For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.

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