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Are New OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements on the Horizon for Employers?

Posted by attorney Beth Cole

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced a proposal to update and revise two aspects of the agency’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements for work-related injuries and illnesses. According to OSHA, the proposed changes will better enable the agency, employers, and workers to identify hazards in high-risk worksites.

The new proposed reporting requirements revise OSHA’s current regulation that requires an employer to report to OSHA, within eight hours, all work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Under the revised proposal, employers would be required to report to OSHA any work-related fatalities and all in-patient hospitalizations within eight hours, and work-related amputations within 24 hours. Reporting amputations is not required under the current regulation.

OSHA is also proposing to update Appendix A of the recordkeeping rule (Part 1904 Subpart B) that lists industries partially exempt from the requirements to maintain work-related injury or illness logs. These industries receive partial exemption because of their relatively low injury and illness rates. A revised list would be based on current North American Industry Classification System codes rather than outdated ones.

To educate employers and employees on the proposed changes, OSHA updated its Recordkeeping Web page to include answers to frequently asked questions regarding the proposed rule.

OSHA is also requesting public comments on the proposed revisions, which must be submitted by Sept. 20, 2011.

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