Continuing our 3-part series on The Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA), this week we’re talking about employer reporting requirements. As we mentioned in our first post, OSHA’s reporting requirements apply to all employers. (Even if the employer is exempt from recordkeeping requirements!) Read on to learn what you must report, when to report it, and how.
Under the Occupational Safety & Health Act, all employers are required to report certain on-the-job injuries or illnesses even if that employer is exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements.
Top Tip: This applies to injuries or illnesses to any type of employee. Regardless of if they are hourly, salaried, seasonal, etc. – you must report!
What To Report
First, employers must report any work-related fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours of finding out about it. However, this only applies to fatalities occurring within 30 days of a workplace incident.
Additionally, any in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or eye losses occurring within 24 hours of a workplace incident must be reported within 24 hours of discovery.
OSHA defines “in-patient hospitalization” as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for medical care or treatment. Treatment in an emergency room is not reportable. Further, you do not have to report an in-patient hospitalization that involves only observations or diagnostic testing.
Top Tip: If your state has its own OSHA plan, be sure to double-check your local requirements as they may differ slightly from federal OSHA requirements. (However, keep in mind they will be at least as strict as the requirements mandated on a federal level.)
What Not To Report
On the other hand, there are also certain instances that do not need to be reported to OSHA. These include:
- Vehicle accidents on a public road (except in construction zones).
- Accidents on commercial or public transit (for example, an airplane or bus).
- Hospitalization that was for diagnostic testing or observation only.
- Accidents occurring outside the reporting timeframes outlined above.
In any of these cases, an employer would not need to report the incident to OSHA.
How To Report
Although we hope you never have to report a workplace injury or illness to OSHA, it’s still important to be prepared if it happens. In the event that you must report an incident, you have three options for reporting.
First, you can call your nearest OSHA area office during their normal business hours. Second, you can call OSHA’s 24-hour hotline at 800-321-OSHA or your local office if your state has its own OSHA plan. Finally, you can submit a report online using OSHA’s online reporting portal.
When you reach out to OSHA to report the incident, be prepared to provide relevant information regarding what happened:
- Business name.
- Names of employees affected.
- The location and time of the incident.
- A brief description of the incident.
- A contact person and phone number.
Top Tip: Still have questions? Check out OSHA’s FAQ on Reporting here for more information!
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below your own experience with OSHA reporting requirements! If you have any questions or need assistance with your responsibilities, contact our Customer Service team at (866) 946-2032. You can also browse our online OSHA compliance store to pick up any postings, kits, or training you may be missing.
Last but not least, don’t forget to log on to your HR Support Center for full access to our entire library of employment laws, checklists, and more to stay on top of your requirements. And be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for even more HR tips & tricks!
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