With thousands of Americans involved in workplace accidents annually, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will soon become stricter with its reporting requirements. Beginning January 1, employers in New York and across the country will be forced to file accident reports within specific timelines, particularly if employees were seriously injured or killed on the job.
Work-related accidents killed more than 4,000 Americans last year. A workplace fatality is a serious issue and OSHA wants to ensure that employers are held accountable for these incidents. That's why the new requirement next year will be for employers to file a detailed report within eight hours after an employee death. If an employee is hospitalized, loses an eye or has a limb amputated, a report must be filed within 24 hours.
The reasoning behind these stricter regulations is that these types of accidents are all serious. If even one employee is seriously injured or killed in a workplace accident, the entire company could be affected. Other workers could suffer the same fate if the working environment is truly unsafe. But if OSHA quickly steps in and educates the employer about eliminating safety hazards and keeping employees safe, then future accidents can be prevented.
Employers have many obligations under OSHA. They must make the effort to provide a safe environment for all employees. If they fail to do so, they could be cited and forced to pay hefty fines. No company wants to see employers injured or killed, so it is hopeful that these new laws will cause employers to spend more time thinking about safety.
Source: CBS News, "Feds tighten regulations on reporting workplace accidents," Sep. 12, 2014