Updated OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule: What Employers Need to Know

As of January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) updated recordkeeping and reporting rule went into effect. The recordkeeping rule changed in two key ways: (1) the rule updated the industries that are exempt (and not exempt) from the requirement to keep injury and illness records; and (2) the rule expanded the list of severe work-related injuries and illnesses that all covered employers must report to OSHA.

Industries now exempt from the requirement to keep injury and illness records include gas stations, clothing stores, newspaper publishers, colleges and universities, and full-service restaurants. Previously exempt industries now required to keep records include: bakeries, car dealers, liquor stores, museums, emergency and other relief services, and performing arts companies.  Further, the new regulation retains the current exemption for all employers with 10 or fewer employees.

As for the new reporting requirements, all covered employers must now report:

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.
  • Fatalities that occurred within 30 days of a work-related incident.
  • Inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye that occurs within 24 hours of a work-related incident

Employers can report the information in three different ways: (1) by phone to the nearest OSHA officer during business hours; (2) by telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA; and (3) *coming soon – electronically at www.osha.gov. Employers reporting the incidents described above must including the following information:

  • Company name.
  • Time and location of the work-related incident.
  • Type of event – fatality, hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.
  • Number of employees who suffered in the incident.
  • Names of the employees who suffered in the incident.
  • Contact person and their contact information.
  • Description of the work-related incident.

Inpatient hospitalizations must be reported if the employee was formally admitted to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care and treatment.  An employee’s visit to a hospital for diagnostic testing or observation does not trigger the reporting requirement.

 An OSHA representative has indicated that the information reported will be used to “begin a conversation” with the employer and OSHA is currently working on guidance to clarify its intent.