OSHA Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Changes

Posted on 1/6/2015 by James Griffin

In the September 18, 2014 Federal Register, OSHA published a Final Rule to amend its injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting regulations in 29 CFR 1904. The new rule marks the first time OSHA has amended these requirements since 2001. Compliance with the new injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting rules is mandatory as of January 1, 2015.

The final ruling incorporates the following changes:
  • Stricter reporting criteria for notifying OSHA of significant workplace injuries and illnesses
  • A revised Appendix which lists industries that are partially exempt from the injury/illness recordkeeping requirements. Changes to the list include:
    • Listing industry groups by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code as opposed to the previously used Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system
    • Added new industry groups and removed others
As before, workplaces in industries deemed "low hazard"—those with relatively low injury rates—are partially exempt from the injury/illness recordkeeping requirements. To determine which industries or sectors quality as "low hazard," OSHA relies on historic injury and illness data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new NAICS code listing is based on more recent data from reporting years 2007, 2008, and 2009. So while the work that takes place at your site may be the same, your classification code may have changed.
All employers with more than 10 full-time employees (or equivalent) in non-exempt industry groups must maintain the following:
  • OSHA Form 300: a "Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses" that occur at their establishment.
  • OSHA Form 301: Employers must prepare an "Injury and Illness Incident Report" detailing each individual injury/illness.
  • OSHA Form 300A: At the end of the year, employers must prepare a "Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses" and post it in a public place beginning February 1st of the following calendar year.
As a result of the rule changes, some previously excluded facilities may now have to keep OSHA 300 Logs and otherwise comply with the recordkeeping requirements. Alternatively, some facilities that were keeping OSHA 300 Logs may no longer have to do so. OSHA estimates that 199,000 establishments (employing 5.3 million employees) will lose their exemption status, and 119,000 establishments (employing 4.0 million employees) will become partially exempt.

If your place of business is under Federal OSHA jurisdiction and your facility's NAICS code appears in the newly updated Appendix listing, you are expected to keep workplace injury and illness records through 2014. However, you are not required to post a 2014 summary form in 2015.

Modified Injury Reporting Requirements

Another notable change to the recordkeeping amendments is additional reporting requirements and modifications to the time frame in which notification must be made. The current recordkeeping program requires employers to report the work-related fatalities and workplace events that result in the inpatient hospitalization of three or more employees. Notification must be made within eight hours.

The newly adopted changes require employers to notify OSHA whenever any of the following work-related events occur:
  • A fatality (report within eight hours)
  • The inpatient hospitalization of one or more employees (report within 24 hours)
  • An amputation (report within 24 hours)
  • The loss of an eye (report within 24 hours)
All employers are required to report any of the above incidents. There is no "exclusion" when it comes to notifying OSHA—regardless of the number of employees or the employer's NAICS code. The rule changes also provide another option for reporting serious incidents to OSHA. As always, employers can telephone their nearest OSHA Area Office or contact the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA. The newest option (available in 2015) allows employers to electronically report an incident via OSHA's website.

For more information on the injury/illness regulatory changes (and to view a full list of newly exempt industries), visit OSHA's recordkeeping page.

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