Revised OSHA Regulations Call for More Employer Transparency

Starting January 1, 2015, companies will be required to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses within 24 hours of the incident. This comes as an update to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s current record-keeping requirements.

Currently, OSHA requires that employers report in-patient hospitalizations only if three or more employees are affected. Furthermore, amputations and eye losses were previously not required to be reported. Both the revised regulation and the previous regulation requirement that employers report work-related fatalities within eight hours. The new regulations reflect an effort on the part of OSHA to broaden its safety-reporting requirements.

Many employers, however, are not convinced that stricter federal requirements on reporting workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses will significantly improve workplace safety. Employers further argue that the new implementation will require that time and money be spent on compliance, even though there is little evidence that such a regulation revision will improve workplace safety.

Indeed, OSHA estimates it will take about 30 minutes, per incident, to gather and report the required information. OSHA officials estimate that if 120,000 additional reports are submitted nationally, and if the person making the report makes about $40 an hour, the reports could cost employers about $2.6 million nationwide. At present, OSHA receives an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 reports per year for fatalities and catastrophes resulting in three or more employees being hospitalized.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration aims to help employers and employees reduce on-the-job injuries, illnesses and deaths by directing national compliance initiatives in occupational safety and health.

If you have been injured during the course of your employment you may qualify for workers compensation. The Law Offices of McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson, & Riordan, LLP handles workers’ compensation claims throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, in addition to both Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. Call (866) 557-7500 for a consultation.

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