Workplace Solutions Recordkeeping


OSHA announced several revisions to the injury and illness recordkeeping rule. What are those changes?

Responding is Robert Ernst, editor – workplace safety, J. J. Keller & Associates Inc., Neenah, WI.

OSHA’s updated recordkeeping rule expands the list of severe injuries that employers must report to OSHA. As of Jan. 1, 2015, all employers must report:

  • All work-related fatalities within eight hours
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours

Amputations are defined as “the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions (tissue torn away from the body), enucleations (removal of the eyeball), deglovings (skin torn away from the underlying tissue), scalpings (removal of the scalp), severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.”

You can report to OSHA by:

  • Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at (800) 321-OSHA (6742)
  • Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours

OSHA said there will soon be an online form that can be used to report.

Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.

Employers do not have to report an event if it:

  • Resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway. Employers must report the event if it happened in a construction work zone.
  • Occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, subway, bus, ferry, streetcar, light rail or train).
  • Occurred more than 30 days after the work-related incident in the case of a fatality or more than 24 hours after the work-related incident in the case of an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.
  • Employers do not have to report an inpatient hospitalization if it was for diagnostic testing or observation only. An inpatient hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.
  • Employers do have to report an inpatient hospitalization due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.

North American Industry Classification System

One other significant change is to the list of partially exempt industries. Establishments in certain low-hazard industries are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Since 1982, this list has included establishments in the divisions of retail trade; finance, insurance and real estate; and the service industry if they meet the requirements as a low-hazard industry.

The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1996 to 1998. The new list is based on the North American Industry Classification System and injury and illness data from BLS from 2007 to 2009.

The new list of partially exempt industries can be found in the revised Appendix A to Subpart B – Partially Exempt Industries.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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