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New Rules: All Employers Must Report Work-Related Incidents to OSHA, Many Required to Keep More Records

Outlined in this blog are new OSHA 300 reporting and recording requirements every employer needs to know.

All employers have new requirements regarding keeping records and reporting work-related incidents. Employers with 11 or more employees have additional new responsibilities.

Reporting Requirements

All employers must report the following work-related incidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Fatalities
  • Inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees
  • Amputations
  • Loss of an eye

OSHA now requires all employers to report work-related fatalities within eight hours of learning about the incident. For any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss,  employers must report the incident within 24 hours of learning about it.

Important: All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report all work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye to OSHA, even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records due to company size or industry

  • Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA.
  • For an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.
  • Employers do not have to report an in-patient hospitalization if it was for diagnostic testing or observation only.

An in-patient hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.

  • Employers do have to report an in-patient hospitalization due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.

Partial Exemption for Employers with 10 or Fewer Employees

An employer in any industry who employed no more than 10 employees at any time during the preceding calendar year is not required to maintain OSHA records of occupational illnesses and injuries during the current year unless requested to do so in writing by OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If an employer has 11 or more workers at any given time during that year, the employer is not eligible for the small employer exemption in the following year. This total includes all workers employed by the business. All individuals who are “employees” under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) are counted in the total; the count includes all full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees. For businesses that are sole proprietorships or partnerships, the owners and partners would not be considered employees and would not be counted. Similarly, for family farms, family members are not counted as employees. However, in a corporation, corporate officers who receive payment for their services are considered employees.

Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20 – 249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses, must electronically submit information from their 2017 OSHA Form 300A by July 1, 2018. Employers can view their submitted CY 2016 Form 300A summary information, but they cannot edit or submit additional 2016 data on the Injury Tracking Application web page.

Beginning in 2019 and every year thereafter, covered establishments must submit the information annually by March 2. Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their 2017 Form 300A summary data. OSHA is not accepting Form 300 and 301 information at this time.

Establishments that meet any of the following criteria (at the establishment level and not the firm as a whole) do not have to send their information to OSHA:

  • The establishment’s peak employment during the previous calendar year was 19 or fewer, regardless of the establishment’s industry.
  • The establishment’s industry is on this list, regardless of the size of the establishment.
  • The establishment had a peak employment between 20 and 249 employees during the previous calendar year and the establishment’s industry is not on this list.

Note that OSHA announced that it will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to reconsider, revise, or remove provisions of the “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” final rule, including the collection of the Forms 300/301 data. The agency is currently drafting that NPRM and will seek comment on those provisions.

These days, California businesses need assistance navigating through new rules and advisories. I can advise you to make sure you are protected and prepared to deal with any Workers’ Comp situation. Call or click to begin our conversation.

Van Beurden Author