Serious Workplace Injuries: When Are You Required to Report to OSHA?

Serious Workplace Injuries: When Are You Required to Report to OSHA?

Serious workplace injuries can be complicated. When an employee is seriously injured—or worse–on the job, our priority is usually providing the medical attention they need, reassuring and dealing with other employees and notifying family members when necessary. Making an OSHA report isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to report certain work-related injuries and illnesses to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for administering the OSH Act.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, OSHA requires employers to report any work-related employee fatality within eight hours of learning about the fatality, and any inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours. That’s not a lot of time.

Employers are required to submit these reports to OSHA by either calling OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), or by calling or visiting the nearest area office during normal business hours, or online at https://www.osha.gov/pls/ser/serform.html

These reporting requirements are a part of the rule that also lists which employers are partially exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. Less serious workplace injuries and illnesses do not have to be reported to OSHA, but must be recorded pursuant to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (unless the employer is subject to an exemption). In addition, a new rule will require certain employers to electronically submit data from the OSHA 300, 300A and 301 Forms on an annual basis. If you have questions about recording and reporting injuries, you can contact Roper Insurance & Financial Services at [email protected].

Time Requirements for Reporting

The final rule sets time requirements for notifying OSHA of reportable events (fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye). A fatality must be reported whether it occurs immediately or whether it occurs within 30 days of the work-related incident. An inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye is a reportable event only if it takes place within 24 hours of the incident.

OSHA defines an inpatient hospitalization as “a formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.” Hospitalizations for observation or diagnostic testing are not reportable events. An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations can be full or partial, and they can happen with or without bone. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears or broken (or chipped) teeth.

When Are You Required to Report to OSHA

Required information

Employers must give OSHA the following information for a reportable incident:

  • The employer’s name;
  • The location of the reportable event;
  • The time of the reportable event;
  • The type of reportable event;
  • The number of employees affected by the reportable event;
  • The names of all employees affected by the reportable event;
  • The employer’s contact person and his or her phone number; and
  • A brief description of the work-related incident.

Employers Subject to OSHA

The OSH Act covers private sector employers and employees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions, either directly through federal OSHA or through an OSHA-approved state program. Employees who work for state and local governments are not covered by federal OSHA, but may have OSH Act protections through an OSHA-approved state program.

Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meets the same standards as private employers. Although OSHA does not fine federal agencies, it does monitor and respond to workers’ complaints.

Self-employed persons and family farm owners who do not employ outside help are not covered by the OSH Act or subject to OSHA regulation.

In addition, OSHA does not regulate workplace hazards that are regulated by another federal agency, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration.

For more help or information on OSHA reporting requirements and forms, contact Roper Insurance & Financial Services at [email protected].

This Compliance Overview is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.