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OSHA revises reporting rules for some work-related injuries

Beginning at the first of the year in 2015, there are new rules regarding certain accident reports for employers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revised the rules regarding serious work-related injuries and the time constraints for informing the agency. There are likely many employers and workers who will be affected in North Carolina.

The new requirements are aimed at protecting workers from serious and/or fatal injuries on the job. The agency has reasoned that, if employees are suffering severe wounds at work, then the environment contains hazards that require inspection by the agency. The updated policies include fatalities, amputations, illnesses and injuries requiring hospitalization and the loss of an eye. The new times call for all fatal accidents to be reported within an eight-hour time frame and the other injuries to be reported within 24 hours.

Along with the new rules, the list of employers who were previously excused from the reporting regulations have been changed as well. While companies that employ 10 workers or less are still exempt from the requirements, all other companies that fall under the supervision of the federal agency will now need to comply with the revised provisions. The renewed guidelines are in answer to the number of workers who have died while working.

The statistics from the Bureau of Labor revealed that more than 4,400 workers suffered fatal injuries last year. In an effort to increase compliance and the ease of filing reports for work-related injuries, the agency will be operating a website for employers to access along with the option to report by telephone. North Carolina workers will hopefully benefit from the new rules by having increased safety measures in the workplace. However, accidents will still occur, and those who suffer injury on the job are entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits and to seek assistance when one experiences difficulty filing these claims.

Source: claimsjournal.com, "OSHA Revises Worker Injury Reporting Requirements", , Sept. 12, 2014

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