Anyone working within the construction and building materials industry knows that there are inherent risks of the job. We take pride in the work that we do, but know that the heights, tools and tasks required of us also sometimes come with a bit of risk. While all efforts are always taken to reduce our exposure to risks, sometimes unfortunate events occur. New regulations will be in effect as of January 1, 2015 to set the specifics of notifying OSHA and the timeline for notifying OSHA of a severe injury.
According to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez these changes are coming after an investigation and study regarding the safety of American workers that was conducted in 2013. Perez says, “Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s worker’s safe and healthy. Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”
The new laws state that employers must notify OSHA of work related fatalities within 8 hours. Also, employers must notify OSHA of work related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye within 24 hours. This is a new addition to the law, as previously, employers were not held accountable for single hospitalizations, amputations nor loss of an eye.
To read more about this law please reference more information from the U.S. Department of Labor’s September press release- http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOL/bulletins/cee625
Note- This column is not meant written to provide legal guidance or advice. This message is simply to inform you that a change in the law has gone into effect. It is your responsibility as an employer and citizen to state current with employment law as it is specified by the government.