OSHA tightens workplace injury rules

According to a recent article from the Houston Chronicle, starting in January, employers will be required by OSHA to report every time a worker is sent to the hospital for a workplace injury. This is just one of the expansions to the reportable injuries rules that the agency is implementing. Others include an increased list of injuries that must be reported. New to the list of reportable injuries, the article noted, are amputations and loss of an eye.

The agency reported that the number of workplace fatalities has actually declined from 4,628 in 2012 to 4,405 last year. Since 2011, the agency has been tracking deaths of contractors -- which make up an increasing amount of the workforce in the United States. The amount of contractor deaths increased by 15 percent last year, the article stated, with half of those deaths occurring in the construction or oil and gas industries.

OSHA's assistant secretary of labor, David Michaels, stated that the stricter reporting rules will help the agency focus on which industries and workplaces have the highest number of deaths and injuries and alert it as to companies who may have other health and safety concerns. For example, a loss of an eye or an amputation often occurs in workplaces featuring conditions where other workers have experienced similar injuries. While a single hospitalization won't trigger an automatic inspection, the increased reporting will enable the agency to know what the company is doing to ensure that it doesn't happen again. The agency is also making reporting an injury easier by providing an email option, the article stated.

If you've been injured at work and your employer has failed to report your injury or you are in need of adequate compensation in order to recover in peace, we can help. We are experienced in fighting for compensation from negligent individuals on a work site as well as third party claims. For more information, contact us.