Employers Prepare For New OSHA Reporting Rule

Beginning January 1, 2015, employers will have new requirements for reporting workplace fatalities and serious injuries to the federal government. A new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule also revises how records are kept and updates the list of employers partially exempt from recordkeeping requirements. Even an employer partially exempt from recordkeeping must still adhere to the new reporting requirements.

REPORTING CHANGES

Fatalities: Under the revised OSHA rule, employers will be required to notify the agency of work-related fatalities within eight hours.

Injuries: Within 24 hours of learning of the event, employers also must report any work-related:

•in-patient hospitalizations

•amputations

•loss of an eye

Previous OSHA regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting an amputation, loss of an eye, or a single hospitalization was not required.

This action continues a trend over the last 20 years of OSHA regulations becoming more focused on the loss trends we in the insurance industry see. Timely reporting of workers’ compensation claims is always encouraged by the insurance industry. Better reporting and recordkeeping helps OSHA, the insurance industry and policyholders better identify risks and focus on loss prevention techniques that improve safety for workers. Delays in reporting increase the ultimate cost of workers’ compensation claims.

RECORDKEEPING CHANGES

The list of low-hazard industries that are partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records was expanded to 82 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Included are: some retail operations, health-related offices, insurance carriers, dentists and schools. Companies with 10 or fewer employees are still exempt. Here is the complete list of exempted codes.

Even though some businesses are partially exempt, The Cincinnati Insurance Company is encouraging its business policyholders to maintain an internal log to allow benchmarking with results of similar businesses and identify trends in their own business.

In addition, 25 new NAICS code industries are being required to keep records, including: auto dealers, building material dealers, museums and amusement operations. Here is the complete list of newly added codes.

RESOURCES FOR YOU

For more information about the new rule, visit OSHA’s website. The complete news release announcing the change is also available on the site.

Article By Steve Metzger of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies