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OSHA updates rules on keeping records for workplace injuries

For Connecticut workers and their families, one of the biggest fears is for there to be an accident on the job leading to a serious or fatal injury. While these types of workplace accidents are most frequently associated with the so-called "risky" jobs such as construction, law enforcement or firefighting, they can happen at any time for a multitude of reasons. When these happen, there is federal oversight as to how it is reported.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has updated its record keeping practices to exempt certain industries that must report injuries due to a low rate of occurrence. There has also been an expansion of injuries that must be reported to the OSHA. States that fall under OSHA jurisdiction must implement these changes by Jan. 1, 2015. The goal is to avoid these types of workplace accidents that cause injury or death.

Certain industries naturally have lower incidents of injury or death. Jobs such as finance, insurance and service industries have a low record of people being hurt or killed. These jobs were on the old lists used by OSHA. That is now going to expand with the updated rules. Professional scientific jobs, retailers, bakeries and automobile dealers along with many others would also be included in the up to date list. As before, with occupations in which there is a risk for an accident on the job, a fatality must be reported within eight hours of its occurrence. In addition the new rules state that hospitalizations, amputations or eye-loss must be reported within 24 hours.

Workplace accidents with injuries and death are extremely costly not just to the family that loses a loved one, but to the company itself. Any work accident that leads to injury or death and can be avoided will benefit everyone. OSHA has put these new regulations into practice to try and lower the incidence of injuries and death and is done to improve conditions and find ways to make all workplaces safer, whether they're in an industry that has a high number of workplace accidents or not. To understand these rules better and what to do if there is in fact an accident on the job, discussing the matter with a qualified legal professional is a wise first step.

Source: OSHA.gov, "Updates to OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule," accessed on Sept. 14, 2014

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