Hirschler Fleischer Construction Series
Key Changes to OSHA Injury and Illness
Recording and Reporting Requirements
By Kelly J. Bundy
he U.S. Department of Labor’s
Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) recently
announced a final rule affecting
record keeping and reporting requirements for severe illnesses and injuries.
This new rule, which dictates what injuries and illnesses must be reported, the
time frames within which they must be
reported, and which industries are partially exempt, will become effective in 2015.
Employers should take the time now to
become familiar with these requirements
and to take steps to ensure their employees are aware of these changes.
Who is Covered by the New Rule
The new rule applies to any employer
operating under the auspices of Federal
OSHA. OSHA applies to most working
conditions, exempting those of industries that are regulated and overseen by
another federal agency. The rule also applies to those employers in a state with its
own state plan. All employers, even those
who are partially exempt from the recording requirements, are required to comply
with the new reporting requirements.
What Must Be Reported
Some injuries and illnesses must be
reported. Under the old rule, employers
were required to report the following
• All work-related fatalities
• All work-related hospitalizations of
three or more employees.
Under the new rule, employers will be
required to report the following:
• All work-related fatalities
• All work-related inpatient
hospitalizations of one
or more employees
• All work-related amputations
• All work-related losses of an eye
OSHA defines an in-patient hospitalization as a formal admission to the
inpatient service of a hospital or clinic
for care or treatment. Employers must
report amputations or losses of an eye,
regardless of whether they result in
in-patient hospitalization. OSHA defines
an amputation as the traumatic loss of a
limb or other external body part, whether or not there is bone loss.
However, some injuries and illnesses
employers do not need to report. Employers should keep in mind that they are
under no obligation to report a fatality or
injury in the following circumstances:
• The event resulted from a motor
vehicle accident on a public
highway (Note that the event
must be reported if it occurred in a
construction work zone.)
• The event occurred on a
commercial or public transportation
system, such as an airline,
subway, bus, ferry or train
• The event occurred more than 30
days after the work-related incident
in the case of a fatality
• The event occurred more than 24
hours after the work-related
incident in the case of an
in-patient hospitalization,
amputation or loss of an eye
• The in-patient hospitalization was for
diagnostic testing or observation only
Time Requirements for Reporting
The same time-requirements will still
apply to work-related fatalities, and
OSHA requires that employers report
such fatalities within eight hours.
An employer must report all work-related hospitalizations of three or more
employees, work-related amputations
and work-related losses of an eye within
24 hours.
The reporting clock starts ticking with
the occurrence of the incident if the employer knows about it and knows the incident is work-related. (Note that in the
event of an in-patient hospitalization,
the clock begins ticking when the employee is formally admitted.)
If the employer does not know about
the incident or cannot immediately determine whether the event is work-related, then the reporting clock starts when
the employer, or any of the employer’s
agents, either learns about the event or
learns that the event was work-related.
Recording Requirements
Various records must be kept. OSHA requires that employers maintain records
regarding work-related injuries and fatalities. These records include:
• The Summary of Work-Related
Injuries and Illnesses
(OSHA Form 300-A)
OSHA Forms 300 and 301 must be
completed if and when a recordable
work-related illness or injury occurs.
OSHA Form 300-A must be completed
annually, even if no reportable work-related injuries or illnesses have occurred.
Employers may use equivalent forms in
place of the OSHA forms.
Certain employers are partially exempt
from recording requirements. Certain
employers are partially exempt from this
requirement. Employers with 10 or fewer
employees at all times during the previous
calendar year are partially exempt from
keeping illness and injury records. These
employers do not need to record work-related amputations or hospitalizations.
While employers in certain lower-hazard industries are also partially exempt,
employers in the construction industry
are ineligible for this partial exemption.
When Will the New Rule Become Effective
Establishments operating under the
auspices of Federal OSHA must begin
to comply with the new rule on January 1, 2015. Employers located in one of
the approximately 22 states or jurisdictions with a state plan should check their
state’s plan for the implementation date
of the new requirements.
Employer Policies and Procedures
and OSHA Citations and Penalties
Legal counsel well-versed in OSHA can
assist employers in reviewing and implementing record-keeping and other policies
to ensure full and complete compliance
with all OSHA requirements. In the unfortunate event of a citation, legal counsel
can prove invaluable in the informal conference and citation contest process.
Kelly J. Bundy is a Construction Law
Attorney with Hirschler Fleischer
(Richmond, Virginia). She may be
reached directly at (804) 771-9505 or
by email at [email protected]
• The Log of Work-Related Injuries and
Illnesses (OSHA Form 300)
• The Injury and Illness Incident
Report (OSHA Form 301)
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