Data shows more than 10K severe injuries reported in first year of OSHA requirement

Agency says most employers cooperated to fix hazards, but some tried to hide them

Posted March 21, 2016

On March 17, OSHA released a report titled Year One of OSHA’s Severe Injury Reporting Program: An Impact Evaluation. In the first year of the new reporting program, the report reveals employers notified the agency of more than 10,000 severe work-related injuries. OSHA says the reporting requirement creates the opportunity for the agency to work with employers to help eliminate hazards and protect other workers.

Since January 1, 2015, employers have been required to report any severe work-related injury — defined as a hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye — within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within eight hours remains in force.

Findings in the report show that during the first full year of the program, employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. In a majority of those cases, OSHA says it responded by working with the employer to identify and eliminate hazards, rather than conducting a worksite inspection.

OSHA found some employers exceeded the agency’s requirements to protect workers from future incidents. Unfortunately, the agency says a few responded with callous disregard, adding that one manufacturer tried to hide an entire room full of machinery from OSHA inspectors.

The evaluation of 2015 results, which breaks out the top 25 reporting industries, notes that by instituting the requirement, the agency can better target resources where needed, and engage employers in high-hazard industries to identify and eliminate hazards.


 

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