The proposed revisions are aimed at better enabling the agency, employers, and workers to identify hazards in high-risk work sites, according to Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. Additionally, the proposed reporting changes will allow OSHA to "more effectively and efficiently target occupational safety and health hazards, preventing additional injuries and fatalities."
The changes in reporting requirements include the following:
- Report to OSHA within eight hours all work-related inpatient hospitalizations. Currently, employers are only required to report incidents in which at least three workers are hospitalized.
- Report within 24 hours all work-related amputations. There is currently no such requirement.
The recordkeeping rule would be adjusted to be based on the North American Industry Classification System rather than the Standard Industrial Classification system. The NAICS was introduced in 1997 to replace the SIC system, but it did not include injury and illness data when OSHA issued the recordkeeping rule in 2001.
The change would also partially exempt 119,000 new establishments. Partially exempt employers do not need to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless the government asks them. However, they may be required by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to keep records to participate in that department's annual survey to collect statistics on workplace injuries and illnesses for all industries.
OSHA estimates the proposed changes would cost businesses between $50 and $100 per affected establishment. The agency is seeking public comments on the proposed changes until Sept. 20.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
July 29, 2011
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