Thousands of businesses to be affected by OSHA’s proposed recordkeeping rules

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is planning changes that would affect how businesses track and report on workplace injuries.

The proposed revisions to injury and illness recordkeeping rules would require employers to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations within eight hours of occurrence, and all work-related amputations within 24 hours. Reporting amputations is not required under the existing regulation.

Also, the rule would update the section of OSHA’s recordkeeping rule that list industries exempt from injury and illness reporting requirements. Currently, some industries aren’t required to report due to their relatively low injury and illness rates. However, these industries are currently classified under the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, not the more widely used North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The proposed rule would update the list to reflect NAICS classification, as well as more current Injury and Illness rates and, as a result, some industries formerly exempt from injury and illness reporting requirements might have to report when the rule is issued, including liquor stores, bakeries, auto parts stores, and more. In fact, OSHA estimates nearly 200,000 establishments will be affected by the changes.

However, these rules are by no means set in stone. The public has until September 20, 2011 to provide feedback. Head to regulations.gov to find the proposed rule and submit comments.

In the meantime, if you are not currently tracking and reporting on injury and illness data electronically, now is the time to start. A streamlined solution will significantly ease the burden of reporting in a timely, accurate and legally compliant manner, and make adjusting to these changes much easier.

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