By Lyndon Vix

A new rule enacted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) changes the reporting requirements for employers who have employees killed or injured on the job.

The new rule, which takes effect January 1, 2015, requires employers to notify OSHA within eight (8) hours when an employee is killed on the job. Employers must notify OSHA within 24 hours if an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye.

The new reporting requirements apply to all employers. It is anticipated that the increased reporting requirements will result in more inspections and investigations by OSHA.

Employers may make the necessary report by telephone to a local OSHA office, or through a 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-6742). A new online portal is expected to be implemented shortly which will provide another reporting option.

OSHA has also made changes to the list of businesses that must keep routine injury and illness records. Businesses who were previously required to keep such records but are now exempt include gas stations, clothing stores, newspaper publishers, colleges and universities, and full-service restaurants. Businesses who were previously exempt but must now keep these records include automobile dealers, liquor stores, bakeries, performing arts companies, museums, historical sites, and emergency and other relief services. In addition, businesses with 10 or fewer employers are exempt from this recordkeeping regardless of the type of business in which they are engaged.