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New OSHA rules for employers go into effect with the New Year

New workplace injury reporting requirement enforced by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) took effect at the beginning of the year. Employers must now notify OSHA when a worker incurs a work-related hospitalization, loss of an eye, amputation or is killed in a workplace accident. The new reporting rules require employers to notify OSHA of a workplace fatality within eight hours of its occurrence and work-related amputations, hospitalizations and eye losses within 24 hours of their occurrence.

Prior to the rule change, employers were only required to report workplace fatalities and work-related hospitalizations of three, or greater than three, employees. The revised rule requires single fatalities, amputations and eye losses to be reported to OSHA within specified periods of time. Additionally, all employers, including employers who are exempted from maintaining illness and injury records, who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act must comply with the new reporting requirements.

The U.S. Secretary of Labor noted that 4,405 workers will killed in workplace accidents during 2013. He further noted that workplace injuries and fatalities are preventable and pointed out that the new reporting requirements for workers will help OSHA focus resources and hold employers accountable to help prevent workplace accidents, injuries and deaths.

The goal of the revised rules is to keep workers safe and ensure that potential problems are recognized and resolved early on whenever possible. Workplace accidents can lead to significant harm and suffering for workers and their families. Because of the extensive harm workers may suffer in workplace accidents, victims may have additional legal protections following an on-the-job-injury or other type of workplace harm that they should be familiar with.

Source: Lake News Online, "New OSHA injury reporting requirements take effect Jan. 1, 2015," Dec. 30, 2014

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