New Federal Laws Governing Reporting of Workplace Injuries on the Books
If you're a business owner or a manager of employees, take note. New federal laws governing the reporting of injuries or deaths suffered while on the job are in place as of January 1. The new law requires businesses to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of a workplace death within eight hours, and to report any work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours.
Before the new law took effect, employers were required to report work related deaths and hospitalizations only if three or more workers were affected. There previously was no reporting requirement for single hospitalizations, amputations or eye losses.
The new law also updates the list of employer types that are partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements. Among the partially exempt industries are those with comparatively low occupational injury and illness rates such as insurance, finance, retail and real estate. Companies with more than 10 employees and those not classified as partially exempt must record all instances of work-related illnesses and injuries using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301, which you can easily access on the agency's website.
Figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2013, 4,405 workers were killed on the job and more than 3 million private industry employees suffered work-related injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, many of these incidents were avoidable.
Says US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez: "No one should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood, because a nation built on the dignity of work must provide safe working conditions for its people."
To that end, OSHA offers a range of services to small and medium-sized businesses to help assure that you offer a safe and legally compliant workplace for your employees. Visit the OSHA website for details. And to help assure your business continues to grow and succeed, consider joining the Baker County Chamber of Commerce, offering a variety of support services including training, business-to-business discounts and networking opportunities.