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OSHA Issues New Injury Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

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New reporting requirements for workplace injuries and a revamped industry classification system will take effect on January 1, 2015 pursuant to a new final rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Under the new reporting requirements, employers must report, within 24 hours, any work-related incidents requiring a worker’s hospitalization, as well as amputations and eye losses. This is in addition to the continuing requirement to report all work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours. The new reporting requirements are more demanding than the previous ones, which required reporting when three or more workers were hospitalized and did not specifically include the loss of an eye or amputations. However, the time period for reporting non-fatal incidents has been extended from eight to 24 hours. Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) provides reporting requirements identical to the federal ones currently in force. In light of OSHA’s new rule, an amendment is likely at the state level, but MIOSHA’s standards apply in the meantime.

The other significant change is OSHA’s adoption of the North American Industry Classification System to determine which low-hazard industries are exempt from OSHA’s routine recordkeeping requirement. Employers with 11 or more employees are required to routinely create and keep injury and illness records, unless they are within one of the partially exempt industries. The new list of partially exempt industries can be found here. Industries that are now subject to the routine recordkeeping requirement include automobile dealers, automotive parts stores, liquor stores, bakeries, museums, support services for elderly people and people with disabilities, as well as family services organizations, among others. A list of these industries can be found here.