Many construction employers, and others, will soon have more to report the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to recently released rules, employers will be required to promptly report serious injuries and fatalities to the federal agency.
What Needs to Be Reported
The new rule requires that all employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act report the following to OSHA:
- All workplace fatalities within eight hours.
- All work-related in-patient hospitalizations within 24 hours.
- All work-related amputations within 24 hours.
- All work-related losses of an eye within 24 hours.
This rule will go into effect on January 1, 2015.
Why the Rule Was Changed
Previously, employers were only required to make these types of reports to OSHA when three or more workers were injured. However, the rule was changed because a significant hazard can be present when just one person is hurt. The hope is that this rule will lead to prompt investigations as soon as just one worker is seriously hurt or killed so that further injuries and fatalities can be prevented.
What This Means for You
The rule may result in better protection for construction workers, but it alone will not prevent all injuries and fatalities. Accordingly, it is important for construction workers to understand their rights to a safe work environment, to encourage their employers' compliance with OSHA regulations, and to know what to do if they are injured. To learn more about these things, please watch our free videos and read our free brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You're Not Alone.