In 2015, OSHA changed the rules regarding which injury incidents had to be reported directly to OSHA. Before the rule change, only a catastrophic occurrence – three or more people injured seriously enough to require transport to a hospital, or a fatality incident had to be reported.
Since the rule change, employers must notify OSHA whenever an injury incident involved hospitalization for the injured worker, any amputation, or if the injury resulted in the loss of an eye. In all three of these instances, the employer must notify OSHA within 24 hours. Work-related fatalities must now be reported to OSHA within eight hours of the occurrence.
A year has passed since the new reporting rules took effect. OSHA has analyzed the data from the first year and had concluded that employers are under-reporting injury events that fall into one of the above-mentioned categories.
OSHA has also found that large companies are by far more likely to report such injury events than smaller companies. The thinking is that perhaps small companies have not heard of the reporting rule changes or that smaller companies don’t feel the rules apply to them.
The Proposed Increase
When the reporting rule change took effect, there was a citation-penalty of $1,000.00 per reportable injury event if the employer failed to report. OSHA is considering a change in the penalty structure to raise the failure to report penalty to $7,000.00 per event.
That’s not all. If OSHA finds that the employer WILLFULLY failed to notify them of a reportable injury event, the penalty can rise exponentially.
Related Article: OSHA: The Importance of Safety Training Documentation
In 2015, there were a number of employers cited and penalized for failing to report injury events in accordance with the new rules. About half of reportable injuries occurred in the construction and industrial fields. The rest were scattered among all other NAICS codes.
OSHA has stated that in 2016, they will be MUCH more likely to cite an employer for failure to report.
Clients of Employers Resource enjoy the benefits of our Safety Team and our Work Comp Group – both of which track every injury incident reported to Employers Resource. Clients are contacted immediately upon receipt of the notice of injury if it appears the incident must also be reported to OSHA.
Contact us today to find out how Employers Resource can assist you in preventing costly citations and penalties.