New OSHA guidelines for accident reporting

The federal government has released new requirements for reporting workplace accidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Workplace accidents can and do happen in any line of work. Certainly they may be more prominent in some industries, such as the construction or manufacturing sectors, but no business is immune from on-the-job accidents. Connecticut employees and employers alike should stay educated about their rights and responsibilities and ensure that all guidelines are properly followed in the event that work site injuries occur.

How many people are injured each year?

While the numbers of injured workers varies from year to year, we can look at data from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012 and see that 4.2 out of each 100 employed persons in Connecticut were somehow involved in a nonfatal workplace illness or injury case. Of these people, 2.3 out of every 100 actually missed days at work or required job transfers or restricted work due to the situations.

Further information recently released from the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows the following for the nation as a whole:

  • A total of 4,405 lives were lost in work-related incidents, representing 3.2 out of every 100,000 full-time or full-time equivalent workers.
  • Of all deaths, 3,929 happened in private sector businesses.
  • The death rate at work among persons of Latino or Hispanic descent rose by seven percent over the prior year.
  • Among contractors, 734 persons died.

These numbers indicate the serious problems associated with accidents on job locations.

OSHA issues new requirements for reporting accidents

In the past, work accidents that resulted in deaths, hospitalizations, amputations or the loss of employees' eyes were only required to be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration if more than three persons were involved. OSHA reporting guidelines now require that the government agency be informed of these incidents at any time, even if only one person is involved.

In addition, there are strict timelines in which these accidents must be reported. All deaths must be reported in no more than eight hours. Losses of eyes or limbs as well as hospital admittances must be reported within 24 hours. Reporting can currently be done by phone and OSHA is also working on an online reporting system.

Proper help matters

Employees who are injured in work-related accidents should never hesitate to seek legal counsel for help after such incidents. Victims and their families deserve to receive proper compensation and obtaining assistance from an attorney is a recommended path to receiving that.

Keywords: OHSA, accident, injury, workplace, worksite