Reminder: New OSHA reporting requirements begin January 15, 2015

Posted on 12/09/2014 at 07:15 AM by Melissa Schilling

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration recently announced new employer notification requirements for work-related fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, and other serious injuries. The State of Iowa has also adopted the new requirements. Starting on January 1, 2015, Iowa employers with injuries in their Iowa facilities will be required to notify IOSHA of all work-related fatalities within eight hours as well as all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours. In the past, employers were only required to report to OSHA after a fatality or when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident. Under the new reporting requirements, OSHA defines in-patient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment. This does not include emergency room visits or being admitted only for diagnostic testing or for observation. It does include, however, in-patient hospitalizations due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident. OSHA also defines “amputation” as “the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part,” including “a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either complete or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached.” According to the new requirements, amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth. In addition to the new reporting requirements, OSHA has also updated the list of industries that are partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records, which is available here. Except for employers with 10 or fewer employees, the new reporting requirements require all employers covered by OSHA, even those who are exempt under this list, to comply with OSHA's new severe injury and illness report requirements. For injuries that occur in Iowa facilities, Iowa employers must notify IOSHA either via telephone by calling the 24-hour hotline at (877) 242-6742 or in person at the Iowa Division of Labor, which is located at 1000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. For injuries that occur outside of Iowa, such as in Nebraska, Iowa employers must check to see whether a state occupational health and safety administration law applies or if federal law applies. If federal law applies, the Iowa employer must notify OSHA by calling the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-6742 or by calling the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours. OSHA is also developing a new means of reporting events electronically, which will be available at https://www.osha.gov/workers/file_complaint.html.  

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