A little over a year ago, OSHA enacted a new rule that expanded what injuries and illnesses had to be reported. Under the new rule, any fatality, hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye initiated a phone call and possibly an OSHA investigation. Earlier this month, OSHA published a report summarizing their first year with the new rules. The report can be found here.
I guess the GOOD NEWS is that Agriculture was small enough that its data got folded in to the “other” category. The bad news is that we had to report any during 2015… and we reported several. The category that got the most incidents was manufacturing. I guess that makes sense. Manufacturing had 26 percent of the hospitalizations reported and 57 percent of the reported amputations.
All in all, OSHA said they received 7636 reports of hospitalizations and 2644 reports of amputations. The report details a few of the types of things OSHA said they learned with this data. For example, the report outlines a food plant in Georgia that had 2 amputations and an hospitalization. OSHA said they would likely not have been told about any of them.
Additionally, OSHA is stepping up enforcement on delayed or under reporting of these new incidents. Based on our experience, a facility that doesn’t report due to a lack of knowledge of the new requirements will be treated differently than an employer who delays reporting because they need to buy safety equipment and train employees before they call OSHA. One employer was recently fined an enhanced $70,000 for not reporting.
OSHA’s goal is safer workplaces. Our goal is safer gins. Lets do the things we can to get the things in place so we don’t have to report ANY in 2016. If you have a fatality, hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye and need to report to OSHA. Please give us a call. We can help walk you through the process. You may only see one such incident in your career but we went through several of these OSHA on-site and Rapid Response Investigations last year alone. As always, give us a call with questions.