Currently, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires that companies with more than 10 employees report work-related injuries only if an accident results in the hospitalization of three or more workers. Current regulations also require that fatal work-related accidents be reported to OSHA within eight hours. Staring Jan. 1, OSHA’s requirements for reporting injuries will change.
The rule changes are aimed at protecting employees from injury by addressing dangerous work conditions more quickly. After the New Year, non-exempt employers in Maryland and throughout the country will be required to report every work-related injury that requires an employee to be hospitalized. Additionally, every instance of amputation or eye loss resulting from a work-related accident must be reported.
To comply with the new rules, employers of more than 10 workers must report hospitalizations within 24 hours.
Referring to the changes, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said, “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”
In 2013, 4,405 workers in the United States lost their lives on the job. While we can look at that number and strive to make changes that protect employees from injury and death, there is still no accurate accounting for the grief suffered by the families of those who have died because of work-related injuries or illnesses.
Injured workers or their families need to be aware of the full range of legal options for handling the financial burdens caused by work injuries. Covering those bases can help on the path to recovery.
Source: Insurance Journal, “OSHA Revises Reporting Rule for Work Injuries,” Sept. 12, 2014