Under the revised rule, employers must notify OSHA of work-related fatalities with eight hours and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. The announcement followed preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2013 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
"Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America's workers safe and healthy," said US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez. "Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them."
Previously, employers were required to notify OSHA of work-related deaths and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Also, reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.
"Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
OSHA also updated its list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The previous list was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system. The new list uses the North American Industry Classification System which includes updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new rule keeps the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.