OSHA reporting requirements in 2015

Some North Carolina employers may not realize that the requirements for reporting workplace incidents involving fatalities and injuries that warrant hospitalization became more stringent on Jan. 1, as mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Previously, employers were only required to report incidents involving three or more workers, and employers with 10 or fewer workers were exempt from these requirements altogether.

Fatalities are to be reported to OSHA within eight hours of the worker's death, and hospitalizations, within 24 hours of the employee's injury, without any sized-based exemptions for employers. However, fatalities that do not occur within 30 days of the workplace incident do not fall under the scope of the new reporting requirements. Nor do worker injuries occurring on public and commercial transportation vehicles.

OSHA's reporting requirements are intended to ultimately increase workplace safety, according to authorities. Auxiliary benefits may help employers who wish to better identify areas of safety concerns within their workplace as well as policymakers, who seek more accurate and thorough statistical data when conceiving and justifying needed safety measures.

An on-the-job injury can have serious ramifications, especially for individuals who work in construction and industrial environments. Besides bodily damage, workplace injuries can lead to mind-boggling hospital bills, ongoing medical expenses and long-term costs associated with rehabilitation. These financial damages should be compensated under employer's workers' insurance. However, there have been too many cases of rejected claims for injured workers to seek their due compensation without the advocacy of an attorney. If necessary, the lawyer may even file a personal injury lawsuit as a means to obtaining the full compensation to which injured workers are entitled.

Source: Insurance Journal, "New OSHA Reporting Rules on Workplace Deaths, Hospitalizations in Effect Jan. 1", December 31, 2014

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