OSHA Tweets New Year’s Reporting Resolutions
As of January 1, 2015, OSHA is setting forth new reporting requirements for employers. According to a recent OSHA “Tweet”, employers will be required to report all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours of learning of the aforementioned accidents. Employers are advised that reporting to OSHA may be performed through the OSHA website or by contacting OSHA via telephone.
The New Year’s resolution changes the former reporting requirements. Under the “lame duck” requirements in place until January 1, 2015, employers are only required to report all workplace fatalities and instances in which three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. Not surprisingly (and notwithstanding OSHA’s newly adopted form of social media communication), an employer’s “tweet” of any such accident does not satisfy OSHA’s amended reporting requirements as of yet. In any event, OSHA ultimately seeks to identify and eliminate the most serious workplace hazards that employees face by exponentially increasing the number of incidents reported.
As an aside to all employers, OSHA further revised the list of industries exempt from the injury and illness record-keeping requirements. OSHA adopted the use of the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) as opposed to the formerly utilized Standard Industrial Classification (“SIC”) to determine whether employers in a certain industry will be subject to the record-keeping requirements based on the NAICS categorizations. This NAICS preference in conjunction with updated U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ injury and illness data, resulted in the OSHA amended list of industries. Employers with ten or fewer employees remain exempt from the requirement to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers looking to determine whether they are subject to these record-keeping regulations should first determine if their industry is covered under the NAICS prior to January 1, 2015.