OSHA to Update Rule Surrounding On-The-Job Amputations

A controversial new rule coming from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has gained proponents and detractors, but will take effect nonetheless on January 1, 2015.  The rule change will require companies to notify the agency whenever an employee is hospitalized for an on-the-job injury or suffers an amputation or the loss of an eye at work.

29 CFR 1904

This is a change to the current rule, in which companies only need to notify OSHA when a worker is killed on the job or three employees are hospitalized.  The rule affects current regulation 29 CFR 1904— Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness— Appendix A to Subpart B.

The final rule revises the requirements for reporting work-related fatality, injury, and illness information to OSHA. The current regulation requires employers to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees within eight hours of the event.

The final rule retains the requirement for employers to report work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours of the event but amends the regulation to require employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, as well as amputations and losses of an eye, to OSHA within 24 hours of the event.

Proponents to Change

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is quoted, “Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy.”

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels confirmed the statements to the press, “The updated record-keeping and reporting requirements are not simply paperwork, but have an important—in fact lifesaving—purpose.”

Industry Groups Contenders to Rule Change

As with any change, this update faces opposition.  The rule changes have drawn criticism from industry groups that contend they will burden businesses without doing anything to help workers. “The new reporting requirements,” says Marc Freedman, who directs labor law policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will “generate much traffic to OSHA that I don’t think they’re going to have any real use for.”

Preparing Your Business

OSHA expects to receive approximately 25,000 reports next year alone because of this rule change, but will not always follow up with an inspection.  However, now that you are to report all amputations, hospitalizations, and eye injuries, how can you prepare your business?

Nova Medical Centers hopes that you can minimize employee risk, and that this article helps you to understand the rule change upcoming.  We’ve compiled the following resources to help you minimize risk in the workplace.

Please share this with your associates and please prepare for the additional reporting under these new rules.  Contact us to learn more about helping employees recover from injuries faster.

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