The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is beefing up their parameters on workplace injuries. In September 2014, OSHA announced a rule enforcing tighter guidelines on the reporting of workplace injury and deaths, which will go into effect January 15, 2015. Here are a few tips to avoid any policy missteps under the agency’s new directives.

Is My Company Required to Keep Injury Records?

Part of the new ruling is an updated list of employers exempt from OSHA’s record-keeping requirement. Some industries were removed from the list of companies required to maintain small-injury and illness records. If your company is in finance, real estate, insurance, or other sectors, the ruling may not apply. However, some low-risk industries received a partial exemption and will still need to keep records on-hand. Also, any company with less than ten employees is automatically exempt. For a full list of industries included in the regulation, view the official OSHA page on new requirements.

What Incidents Am I Now Required to Report?

A more substantial change was made to reporting requirements of more serious injuries. Under the new ruling, an employer must report any hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye within 24 hours of the initial incident. However, if the hospitalization occurred more than 24 hours after the accident, a report is not required. Under previous regulations, employers were only required to report work-related hospitalizations or amputations involving three or more employees, not single incidents. As for deaths, the regulation remains the same. Any death resulting from workplace injury must be reported to OSHA within eight hours.

All employees covered by OSHA are required to follow the new serious injury or death reporting guidelines. Even companies exempt from maintaining injury and illness records must comply.  While the new list of employers exempt from record keeping will not be available until January, you can view the new record-keeping regulation online.

As an employer, you do everything you can to create a safe workplace environment. However, accidents are sometimes simply unavoidable. Following OSHA’s new regulations is a great way to protect your company and your employees from future occupational injury. It is also crucial to find a workers’ compensation policy best-suited to your company’s needs. We at Kippers Insurance can give you a no-obligation quote or to find out which workers’ compensation policy is right for you. Call toady (760)471-2200!


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