New 2015 OSHA Reporting Requirements for the Field Service Industry

By David Crary

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This year the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made changes to reporting requirements to which companies need to keep OSHA records. It’s important to remember that even if your field service business is not required to keep OSHA records, you are still required to report work-related fatalities and hospitalizations to OSHA within 8 hours and 24 hours respectively. Below I will sum up the new changes found on the OSHA website.

1. Work related fatalities

All companies in OSHA jurisdiction are required to report any employee fatality that results from a work-related incident. Employers only have 8 hours after learning of the fatality to report it and must use 1 of the 3 approved reporting options (these options are listed below in point 4). Even businesses that are exempt from keeping OSHA records - because they have less than 11 employees or because they are in an exempt industry classification – are required to report fatalities within the 8 hour limit.

2. Hospitalizations

All companies in OSHA jurisdiction are also required to report any in-patient hospitalization of any employee resulting from a work-related incident within 24 hours of learning of the event. Previously, no reporting was necessary unless 3 or more employees were hospitalized, but this number has changed to mandatory reporting for even just 1 employee. If the hospitalization is only for observation or diagnostic testing, then reporting is not necessary.

3. Amputation or loss of eye

The same reporting for work-related in-patient hospitalization is necessary for amputation or loss of eye. If any employee has an amputation or loss of an eye resulting from a work incident, this must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.

4. Reporting options

There are 3 different ways to report work-related fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of eye:

1. Call the OSHA Area Office nearest wherever the work related incident took place. If the office is closed, you must pick one of the other 2 options below. You may not leave a message, fax or email for the local office.
2. Call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742.
3. Use the online event reporting application on OSHA’s public website: www.osha.gov.

5. Information needed to report these incidents

You will need to have some information ready when you call or go online to report these workplace accidents involving a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye:

  1. The establishment name;
  2. The location of the work-related incident;
  3. The time of the work-related incident;
  4. The type of reportable event (i.e., fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye);
  5. The number of employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;
  6. The names of the employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;
  7. Your contact person and his or her phone number; and
  8. A brief description of the work-related incident.

Remember, these new OSHA reports are in addition to the OSHA injury and illness records that many industries are required to keep. Even work-related injuries and fatalities that are not required to be reported immediately to OSHA still need to be included in your OSHA records at your field service business. Please refer to the official OSHA website to learn more about the changes in reporting requirements.

 

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