In response to a preliminary report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tallies 4,405 workers killed on the job in 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revised its rule on how quickly employers must report worker deaths or serious injuries.
Under the revised rule, employers are now required to notify OSHA within eight hours when a worker is killed on the job. The rule also requires employers to notify the agency within 24 hours when a worker is hospitalized, has an amputation or loses an eye due to a work-related injury.
The rule will take effect January 1, 2015.
According to the preliminary BLS report, 796 construction workers died on the job in 2013—the most of any industry.
In the past, OSHA has required employers to report all workplace deaths but only required reports of in-patient hospitalizations when three or more employees were involved. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the old rule.
“Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention is warranted to protect the other workers at the establishment,” Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said in a prepared statement.
OSHA plans to launch a page on its website where employers can submit electronic reports. For now, the page informs employers how to submit a report via phone.