- OSHA’s revised recordkeeping rule includes two key changes: an updated list of industries exempt from routine recordkeeping, and an expanded list of severe work-related injuries that must be reported to OSHA.
- Employers must report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA.
- The revised rule aims to allow OSHA to focus its efforts more effectively to prevent fatalities and serious work-related injuries and illnesses.
The Evolution of OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule
In striving to create a safer and healthier working environment, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a comprehensive set of regulations that employers must adhere to. One pivotal part of these regulations is the recordkeeping rule, which outlines the types of work-related incidents that employers must document and report to OSHA.
This rule underwent significant changes, ushering in a revised recordkeeping rule with two key updates that employers need to understand and comply with.
Unpacking the Key Changes in the Revised Rule
The first key change in the revised rule is an update to the list of industries exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records. This list was previously based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The new list of industries exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from the BLS from 2007, 2008, and 2009. However, the new rule continues to exempt any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records.
The second key change expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. The revised rule retains the current requirement to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours. Additionally, it now requires employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA.
These changes came into effect in states under federal OSHA jurisdiction from January 1, 2015. Employers in states operating their own safety and health programs were encouraged to comply from the same date, though some states may have later implementation dates.
The Revised Rule: A More Targeted Approach
The introduction of the revised rule allows OSHA to concentrate its efforts more effectively in preventing fatalities and serious work-related injuries and illnesses. It helps in pinpointing industries and companies where significant safety breaches occur, thus making intervention more targeted and efficient.
Another vital aspect of the revised rule is that it improves access to information about workplace safety and health for employers, employees, researchers, and the public. Such transparency increases the ability of these stakeholders to identify and mitigate serious hazards.
Navigating the New Reporting Requirements
Since the introduction of the revised rule, all employers must report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours. For incidents resulting in inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye, employers have a 24-hour window from the work-related incident to report them to OSHA.
Reporting can be made via OSHA’s confidential number, your local OSHA Area Office during business hours, or through the new online form. It’s worth noting that only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported. Similarly, for an in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.
The Impact and Implications of the Revised Rule
The revisions to OSHA’s recordkeeping rule have profound implications for how employers approach workplace safety. The expanded list of severe injuries that must be reported puts more responsibility on employers to ensure they have robust safety procedures in place to prevent such incidents.
Meanwhile, the updates to the list of industries exempt from routine recordkeeping better reflect current industry safety performance, helping to ensure that resources and oversight are targeted where they are most needed.
Employers now need to be even more proactive in preventing workplace accidents and ensuring a safe work environment for their employees. This not only helps to comply with OSHA’s rules but also contributes to a healthier, more productive workforce.
OSHA’s revised recordkeeping rule represents an evolution in the organization’s approach to ensuring workplace safety. By updating industry exemptions and expanding reportable incidents, OSHA has sharpened its focus on severe injuries and fatalities. This new rule compels employers to take workplace safety even more seriously, with the ultimate goal of creating a safer and healthier working environment for all.