OSHA Updates Record Keeping Rule: How will the changes affect you?
It appears as though at the beginning of each new-year, all sorts of changes in laws and regulations occur. Beginning January 1,2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (our friends at OSHA) will implement some serious changes to the OSHA Record Keeping Standard – 29CFR 1904. While clients of Employers Resource can continue to rely on us to produce the required posting documentation (OSHA 300-300A logs), many of the changes to the record keeping standard will directly affect individual client companies.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels stated,
OSHA will now receive crucial reports of fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses that will significantly enhance the agency’s ability to target our resources to save lives and prevent further injury and illness. This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly. (From OSHA.gov website)
Two Important Changes
Two important changes to the existing standard will occur on January 1, 2015.
First, OSHA will begin to use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) merged with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2007-2009. This will replace the current Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC) that used BLS data from 1996-1998. The new rule retains the exemption for any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of NAICS classification from the requirement to routinely keep records.
Second, the new rule EXPANDS the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers MUST REPORT to OSHA. The new rule still requires covered employers to report all fatal injury incidents to OSHA within eight hours of the occurrence. In addition, the new rule requires employers to report to OSHA all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or the loss of an eye within 24 hours of the occurrence. While Employers Resource Safety Managers can assist you with the reporting process, the responsibility to actually report fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye falls to the client company.
Companies covered by Federal OSHA rules must begin to comply with the new requirements effective January 1, 2015. Companies located in states that are covered by State OSHA (California et al) should check with their state OSHA agency plan for the implementation date of the new requirements.
As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report:
- All work-related fatalities within eight hours of the occurrence
- All work-related in-patient hospitalizations, all amputations, and all losses of an eye within 24 hours of the occurrence.
There are a couple of important exceptions to these new requirements:
- Only fatalities that occur within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Should an injured worker die (heaven forbid) more than 30 days after the incident which resulted in the fatality, OSHA does not need to be contacted.
- For in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if the hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident.
As a service to clients of Employers Resource, we will continue to produce the required records of serious injuries or fatalities for all clients with ten or more employees. Those clients with fewer than ten employees continue to be exempt from the record keeping requirement – but under the new rules, fatalities and hospitalizations must be reported to OSHA regardless of the number of employees.
Types of businesses deemed by OSHA to be “low hazard” under the NAICS classifications – like retail, finance, insurance, etc. may also be exempt from OSHA record keeping requirements in certain circumstances. Contact your assigned ERM Safety Manager if you are not sure.
Employers Resource strives to inform all our clients of changes in regulations from OSHA and other agencies that affect the compliance, reporting requirements, and record keeping associated with the regulations. Your assigned ERM Safety Manager should be your first call should you have questions regarding changes brought by the new record keeping standard or any other safety concern. Our team stands ready to help!