Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles OSHA Injury Reporting Last Year - St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

OSHA Injury Reporting Last Year - St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorney

By James M. Hoffmann  Jan. 3, 2017 11:01a

The U.S. Federal body Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that is responsible for setting regulations, inspecting, and ensuring the provision of safe and healthy work environment to all workers recently tightened the timeframe for reporting workplace injuries and fatalities. The new regulations require reporting of serious injuries within 24 hours and deaths within 8 hours. The idea is to improve the communication between employers and the agency. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will discuss the injury and fatality rates in the year following the implementation of these new requirements.

Outcome of the new rule in the first year

After a year of enforcing the new rule, OSHA found that a total of 10,388 injuries were reported, out of which 7,636 were hospitalizations and 2,644 were amputations. In most of these cases, OSHA guided the employers in securing workplace safety by eliminating hazards.

Despite these reports, OSHA states that about 50% of injuries still went unreported in the first year of the implementation of the rule, even though the agency was expecting around 12,000 reports. These numbers were generated by OSHA considering a number of factors including number of workers compensation claims made.

The first year reports also showed that while most employers were compliant with the OSHA suggestions, a few still disregarded the safety suggestions put forth by OSHA. For example, one employer attempted to conceal a room of machinery after a finger amputation was reported by the staffing agency.

OSHA also saw that most of the reports made in 2015 were from large employers especially in the manufacturing and construction industries, with about 25% hospitalization reports from the manufacturing industry, 19% hospitalizations from the construction industry and 55% amputation reports from the manufacturing industry.

Reasons for not reporting

OSHA found that a number of small employers were still not reporting workplace injuries. Moreover, most of the reporting came in from the manufacturing and the construction sectors. The manufacturing and the construction industries have been used to strict reporting requirements for a long time, and were therefore more compliant with reporting injuries, when compared to employers from other industries who are not fully aware of the rules of reporting. Another reason is that other employers have not taken the consequences of non-reporting as seriously.

Looking into the second year of reporting

With the first year showing only fifty percent reporting compliance by employers, OSHA is set to make the consequences of non-reporting even more severe. OSHA has raised the penalty for not reporting a severe injury from $1000 to $7000. This amount may be increased further.

OSHA also plans to cite more employers who violate the employee safety laws. In addition to these strict rules, OSHA has also made assurances to employers that penalty is not the aim of gathering data and making reports. They intend to use the data to help and guide employers in creating safer workplaces and prevent further injuries.

If you have been injured on the job in the state of Missouri, do not hesitate to speak with our experienced attorneys. Give us a call today at (314) 361-4300 to schedule a free consultation and ensure your rights are protected.

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