Accident reporting guidelines get update

When reporting on-the-job accidents to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are new guidelines that must be followed.

Workplace accidents are a fact of life and can happen in any business or industry. Some may be minor while others can result in serious injuries, disabilities or even death. Job sectors like construction or mining may have higher rates of on-the-job accidents than do retail, for example, but it is still important for all workers in New York to know what is required when it comes time to report an accident on the job.

How many injuries on the job happen every year?

Certainly there is no standard answer to that question as the number of injured workers can change each year but in looking at data collected and reported by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2012, we see that for every 100 people employed in the state, 3.2 were impacted by some type of nonfatal illness or injury related to their places of employment. Of those cases, the injuries or illnesses were severe enough to cause loss of work or the need to transfer or restrict job duties for 1.7 persons.

Across the nation, the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries gives a window into the number of lives lost on the job:

  • Workplace accidents led to the death of 4,405 workers which represents 3.2 out of 100,000 workers identified as full time equivalent or full time.
  • A total of 3,929 of those fatalities were recorded in businesses in the private sector.
  • For workers of Hispanic or Latino nationalities, the jobsite death rate rose seven percent over 2012.
  • A total of 734 deaths involved contractors.

Many logistics come into play when any form of accidents happen on the job, including fatal ones. Reporting to OSHA, filing workers' compensation claims and more must all be managed in order to provide the right level of post-accident assistance.

New guidelines for reporting job accidents to OSHA

When a person is injured on the job, there are four situations which require prompt reporting to OSHA at all times. These include admittance to a hospital, amputation of an extremity, the loss of eyes and death. The former three must all be reported to OHSA within 24 hours while any fatality must be reported within eight hours.

Previously, these situations only required reporting if more than three workers were involved but now the involvement of only one person requires reporting.

What should employees do?

When an on-the-job accident occurs, prompt action is a must. Seeking medical attention is obviously a priority but it is also important after that for victims to consult with an attorney for assistance with securing proper compensation.

Keywords: workplace, accident, on-the-job