OSHA toughens reporting requirements
Effective January 1, 2015 employers must notify OSHA promptly when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA's regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.
All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new severe-injury and illness reporting requirements. To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone-reporting options.
"Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
OSHA reports nationwide 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. According to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, there were a total of 72 occupational deaths in South Carolina in 2013. Most of the deaths were attributed to transportation incidents (27), violence (14), and falls, slips, trips (13). LLR administers the state's OSHA program.
Business Insurance notes workplace fatalities in the U.S. peaked in 1994, when there were 6,632 deaths. Transportation accidents have been the number one cause of workplace deaths for at least 10 years, accounting for two in five deaths in 2013.
Separately, OSHA released its list of the ten most-frequently cited safety violations for fiscal 2014. The list below shows the number of citations:
- 1. Fall protection (1926.501) - 6,143
- 2. Hazard Communication (1910.1200) - 5,161
- 3. Scaffolding (1926.451) - 4,029
- 4. Respiratory Protection (1910.134) - 3,223
- 5. Lockout/Tagout (1910.147) - 2,704
- 6. Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) - 2,662
- 7. Electrical - Wiring Methods (1910.305) - 2,490
- 8. Ladders (1926.1053) - 2,448
- 9. Machine Guarding (1910.212) - 2,200
- 10. Electrical - General Requirements (1910.303) - 2,056