As of January 1, new regulations that govern reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses have gone into effect. In September 2014, OSHA announced that new regulations would be coming in 2015 to give companies and employers time to prepare for compliance with the regulations.
Changes in Reporting Requirements
Under the new regulations, employers are now required to report to OSHA:
- All work fatalities within 8 hours of an incident
- All work hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye within 24 hours of an incident
Under the old regulations, employers were only required to report hospitalizations in incidents that involved three or more workers. Employers were not required to report amputations or eye loss incidents. The new regulations on reporting fatalities only apply to workers who die within 30 days of the incident. For example, if a worker is involved in a workplace accident that requires long-term hospitalization for injuries that did not become fatal until 30 or more days after the incident, the employer is not required to report that fatality to OSHA.
What gualifies as hospitalization?
Under the new guidelines, hospitalization is defined as admission to an inpatient hospital for medical care or treatment. If a worker is hospitalized for the sole purpose of diagnostics or observation, employers are not required to report that to OSHA. Additionally, only hospitalizations that occur within one day of the incident must be reported.
The old reporting regulations offered some exemptions to certain industries that were seen as "low risk," such as retail stores, legal services, restaurants, and commodity traders. The new guidelines expand the reporting requirements to include all industries, regardless of their perceived safety risks.
Employers are required to report the following details to OSHA:
- Name of employees involved in the incident
- Time and location of incident
- Type of incident
- Name of employer
- Contact information for employer
- Description of the incident
Knowing Your Legal Rights
If you have been involved in a work-related accident that required hospitalization or resulted in an injury, it is important that you speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights. Even if your employer complied with all of the proper OSHA requirements, they still could be liable for your injuries. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin to learn how we can help you get compensated for your injuries.