OSHA: New Injury Reporting Requirement a Success
OSHA credits the prompt reporting of worker injuries under its year-old reporting requirement with creating opportunities for the agency to work with employers that OSHA wouldn’t have had contact with otherwise. Employers notified OSHA of more than 10,000 severe work-related injuries during the first year of the new requirement, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. Under the new rule, employers must notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours and are required to report work-related hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within 24 hours. OSHA responded to approximately one-third of all injury reports, and 58 percent of amputation reports, with an inspection by a compliance officer, according to a new report authored by Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels, PhD, MPH. “These inspections also opened a door to some emerging and fast-changing industries that have had relatively few OSHA inspections, such as suppliers to oil and gas operations,” Michaels writes. The agency responded to more than 60 percent of the injuries reported in 2015 with a “rapid response investigation,” in which OSHA asks employers to analyze and identify the causes of an incident and propose abatements to prevent future injuries. In rapid response investigations, employers work with OSHA area office staff either in person or by phone and e-mail, a process the agency says is “extremely effective in abating hazards while also using far fewer OSHA resources than are required for on-site inspections.” The full report is available as a PDF on the agency’s website.