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OSHA tightens standards on workplace injury reporting

Munley_0005_Construction accidentsLast month, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) strengthened the rules that required businesses to report serious workplace injuries and fatalities. Their goal is to uncover workplace hazards faster and fix problems sooner by requiring companies to report more on-the-job injuries to federal regulators.

According to OSHAs revised safety rule, effective January 1, 2015, companies will be required to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses within 24 hours. Current laws only require employers to report in-patient hospitalizations if three or more employees are affected, and amputations and eye losses do not have to be reported. Remaining unchanged is the requirement that employers report work-related fatalities within eight hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary 2013 workplace fatality data found that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in the US in 2013. That translates to an average of 85 deaths per week or 12 deaths every day. Of that total, nearly 40% were transportation related. They BLS also reported that out of 3929 worker fatalities in private industries in 2013, 20.3% were in the construction industry, or one in five worker deaths last year.

CBS News reported Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez as stating, “we can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy. Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employees accountable for preventing them.

The new rule maintains the current exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer workers from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses. These companies will still need to comply with these new OSHA regulations in case of death or serious injury.

Employers have many obligations under OSHA, including providing a safe environment for all employees. The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are hopeful that these new guidelines will help improve safety in the workplace and help protect workers from on-the-job dangers.

If you have been injured in an accident at work that has required medical care or hospitalization, and don’t know where to turn, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. Workers’ Compensation insurance exists specifically to cover workers’ medical expenses and reimburse for time off work, and we are experts in Workers’ Compensation laws. We can also determine if you have a claim against your place of employment for serious injuries received. For a free consultation, call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529.

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