OSHA Rule Change Crosses Hurdle

In 2011 OSHA proposed changes to the reporting portions of the OSHA rules. The changes recently cleared the Office of Management and Budget’s review process. The proposal would reduce the seriousness of accidents that would require OSHA notification.

Currently, the rules require an employer to contact OSHA whenever there is an accident that results in a fatality OR 3 or more employees being hospitalized overnight. You must make that reporting within eight hours. The proposed rule reduces the threshold to anytime there is a fatality, or ANY overnight admission in a hospital. Additionally it requires any work related amputations to be reported to OSHA within 24 hours regardless of whether the injured worker is admitted to the hospital.

This rule change is separate from another reporting and recordkeeping proposed rule that would require most businesses to electronically submit their OSHA 300 form information electronically and that the data be made public. That rule change is not as far along as the previously discussed one but has the potential to have farther-reaching influence. We are monitoring both of these changes and have commented directly or via National Cotton Ginners on them.