[US] OSHA finalizes new recordkeeping and reporting rules

In the September 18, 2014 edition of the Federal Register, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule requiring employers to report more work-related injuries and illnesses. The final rule also updates the list of industries partially exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements.

 OSHA issued a final rule revising its recordkeeping and reporting regulations. The final rule requires employers to report more types of work-related injuries and illnesses. The rule also updates the list of industries that are partially exempt from the recordkeeping requirements. These industries are partially exempt because they are considered to be lower-hazard environments.

OSHA is modifying 29 CFR § 1904.39, Reporting Requirements for Fatalities, In-Patient Hospitalizations, Amputations, and Losses of an Eye. Employers have been required to report work-related fatalities and certain work-related hospitalizations since the Occupational Health and Safety Act was established. Currently, employers must report employers to report any work-related fatalities or hospitalizations of three or more employees within 8 hours. The new final rule requires employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations to OSHA within 24 hours of the incident. Now, employers must report incidents, even if fewer than three employees are hospitalized. The time period for notifications has been increased from 8 to 24 hours to allow employers additional time to determine whether the employee has been formally admitted for in-patient hospitalization and whether the hospitalization resulted from a work-related incident. An “in-patient hospitalization” is defined under the final rule as a “formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment. In-patient hospitalization does not need to be reported if it only involves observation or diagnostic testing.

The final rule now requires employers to report all amputations, even those that do not require in-patient hospitalization. Amputations must be reported within 24 hours of the incident. Amputations are defined under the final rule as: “[T]he traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.”

OSHA’s final rule provides employers with a third option for reporting work-related incidents. In addition to the current options of reporting incidents, employers may electronically submit the incident using a fatality/injury/illness reporting application that will be posted on OSHA’s website.

OSHA’s list of partially-exempt employers will now be based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, instead of the older Standard Industrial Classication (SIC) codes. The final rule considers the industry group (four-digit NAICS code), instead of the industry level (the five- or six-digit NAICS code).

These changes to OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting rules will become effective on January 1, 2015.

Red-on-line EHS Legal Counsel

Sources :  OSHA, Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements – NAICS Update and Reporting Revisions, Final Rule, 79 FR 56129, September 18, 2014

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