At the beginning of this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced new rules regarding injury and illness. Employers must report any of the following injuries or illnesses to OSHA within 24 hours of the accident:
- Eye loss
- Inpatient hospitalization
If a workplace injury results in a fatality, then the employer must report it to OSHA within 8 hours of receiving the tragic news of a worker’s death. The new rules apply to all employers that are covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, including companies that are normally exempt from maintaining records for injuries and illnesses.
Why Did OSHA Announce the New Rule?
The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, believes that these new requirements will help prevent workplace injuries and fatalities by holding employers accountable for them. Previously, OSHA regulated that an employer report only in the case of fatality or if at least three workers were subject to work-related inpatient hospitalization.
Perez was also wise to point out that workplace injuries and deaths are preventable. Yet, Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2013 show that 4,405 workers in the United States were killed on the job, with 493 of these fatal injuries occurring in Texas. Clearly, employers are still not doing enough to ensure that the workplace is free of all hazards, that heavy equipment has undergone routine maintenance or that employees are properly trained so that they do not put themselves or others into undue harm.
[Did You Know? OSHA was formed in 1971 to ensure the safety and health of working men and women across the country.]
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney