OSHA Updates: New Rules Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

In addition to ensuring its employees are safe and healthy while at work, one of the most important things a company can do is maintain company safety policies that reflect the ever-changing regulatory landscape. This means every manager or facility director should ask themselves this all-important question on a consistent basis: Do I know the latest OSHA updates, and are my company safety policies current?

OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the agency in charge of setting and enforcing workplace health and safety standards, and from time to time it likes to update its rules and regulations—meaning companies must then update their company safety policies to reflect those changes. These changes are especially important to companies with employees who function in high-risk work environments like the automotive, roads, and fuels industry.

The latest changes to OSHA rules and regulations involve something known as the Recordkeeping Rule. The revised rule contains two key changes that 1. reflect new reporting requirements companies must adhere to following a workplace accident and 2. Provide updated lists of companies who are exempt or must adhere to the OSHA Recordkeeping Rule.

Keep reading for further explanation of the OSHA updates and rule changes:

  1. The first change involves an update to the list of industries that are EXEMPT from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. Industries included on this list are considered exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records.In addition to exempting some industries from reporting to OSHA, the new changes also feature an expanded list of industries that include establishments that are required to keep records. If you’re unsure whether your business is included in this new list, be sure to first determine your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and then follow these instructions.Other important things to know: The new rule retains the exemption for any establishment with 10 or fewer employees—regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records. So, if you’re a small automotive business with 5 employees, for example, then you are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping rules.
  1. The second part of the OSHA updates  involves a newer list of severe work-related injuries and illnesses that all covered employers must report to OSHA. Before this rule change, employers had to report the following to OSHA:
  • All work-related fatalities
  • Work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees

The OSHA updates and new rules now state employers will have to report the following to OSHA:

  • All work-related fatalities
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees
  • All work-related amputations
  • All work-related losses of an eye


Other important things to know: Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report all work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye to OSHA, even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records due to company size or industry.

*All of the OSHA updates and rule changes explained above take effect January 1, 2015.

At NARFA, we strongly believe that preparing your company for any changes in the regulatory landscape is key to preventing workplace injuries and fatalities—thereby avoiding OSHA violations and workers compensation claims.

Contact us to learn more about what other benefits administration services we offer, or to hear more about the culture of company safety that we cultivate as part of our AICC worker’s compensation coverage program. And don’t forget to stay connected with our Health & Wellness Safety Tips—we’re always adding more tips to help you and your employees create workplace safety.

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