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New OSHA workplace reporting rules begin in 2015


NOVEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

New OSHA workplace reporting rules begin in 2015


REGION, November 1st- Beginning on January 1st, 2015 employers must report any and all workplace fatalities within eight hours of the accident or incident within the workplace. The United States Labor Department (DOL) recently moved to tighten their rules on the workplace injury reporting mandating that under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) all work-related hospitalizations, losses of an eye, or any body amputations, must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours.

OSHA rules previously stated that such reporting of accidents or incidents would need to be filed only if three or more workers were killed or were hospitalized while working on the job. Under the old rules reporting amputations, loss of an eye or a single employee hospitalization was not required, but some employers would still notify their local OSHA office anyway. In Northeastern Pennsylvania the OSHA office is located in the Stegmaier Building, North Wilkes-Barre Boulevard in Wilkes-Barre.

According to OSHA, no company or manufacturer in the nation will be exempt from the new reporting format, no matter how large or small.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez stated in a press released that the Obama Administration made it clear in the beginning that workers must be protected and feel safe while working on the job.

“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 employers accountable for preventing them,” stated Mr. Perez.

The DOL also released their annual report for 2013 involving how many workers were killed while working within the United States.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,405 workers were killed while working in 2013, the latest numbers available.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) was passed by Congress in 1970 and each year the labor community through the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, honors its passage by conducting ‘Workers Memorial Day’ on April 28th.

The Obama Administration has moved to strengthen protections in the workplace and construction sites with tougher enforcement on serious violators and proposed new safeguards for workplace hazards.

However, business groups and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives have attack the stronger measures claiming they have and will kill jobs.

OSHA believes the new standards are needed because workplace accidents can be a clear signal that workplace hazards are likely and the agency involvement is warranted to protect workers.