The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific rules for when employers must report severe injuries and deaths from work-related accidents. Starting in January, those rules will change.
Currently, employers must notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours. Employers must also report in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees.
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, employers must notify OSHA of work-related hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye within 24 hours of the accident. That's a change from the current rule, which does not require reports for single hospitalizations. The requirement to report deaths within eight hours is not changing. OSHA shared the information in a recent news release.
The rule change applies to any employer that falls under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to submit electronic reports in addition to reporting by phone.
OSHA generally conducts an investigation after a death or serious injury at a work site. These investigations can result in citations for violations, abatement costs and other consequences. Accidents and injuries can result in investigations by myriad local, state and federal agencies as well as insurance coverage disputes and other legal problems.
The best defense against these consequences begins as soon as an accident happens. An experienced OSHA lawyer can advise you on how to react to an OSHA inspection, gather evidence for your case and represent you in all dealings with OSHA. For more information, see our page on what to do during an OSHA inspection.