bio_rogerhoodBy Roger W. Hood | In a new rule published this month that will take effect on January 1, 2015, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will expand its reporting and record-keeping requirements. The new rule also changes the list of companies that are exempt from keeping injury and illness logs.

Currently, only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees must be immediately reported to OSHA. Under the new rule, OSHA will require companies to report: (1) within 8 hours, any work-related fatality; and (2) within 24 hours, any work-related in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees, or work-related amputations, or loss of an eye by employees. The new rule retains the requirement to report fatalities caused by heart attacks, even if not apparently work-related.

In addition, exemptions to certain industries for record-keeping have also changed. Current OSHA regulations exempt (1) all employers with 10 or fewer employees; and (2) all establishments in specified “low-hazard industry” sectors. The new rule keeps the exemption for employers with 10 or fewer employees, but makes significant changes to the list of exempted industries. The new rule will provide a list of exempt industries that excludes 36 industries previously required to keep injury and illness records and includes a new list of 25 industries that were previously exempt, although OSHA has yet to publish the list.

The increased reporting of serious injuries under the new rule will allow OSHA more focused and increased enforcement activities that target specific industries with a higher-than-average injury or fatality record. For more information, contact Roger Hood.