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OSHA clarifies injury & illness record-keeping requirements

By Jordy Byrd

This week OSHA clarified rules which require employers to maintain records of employee injury and illness throughout the five-year period during which the employer is required to keep records.

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While the amendments add no new compliance obligations, the rule which was published July 29 clarifies long-standing record keeping requirements. The public can read the rule in full text and submit written comments to the rule at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.

OSHA overhauled record-keeping updates at the start of 2015, mandating that more businesses not only keep records, but document additional classifications of injury.

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report:

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours
  • For any fatality that occurs within 30 days of a work-related incident, employers must report the event within 8 hours of finding out about it. For any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss that occurs within 24 hours of a work-related incident, employers must report the event within 24 hours of learning about it

“Accurate records are not simply paperwork, but have an important, in fact life-saving purpose,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “They will enable employers, employees, researchers and the government to identify and eliminate the most serious workplace hazards - ones that have already caused injuries and illnesses to occur.”