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Reporting requirements for workplace injuries lead to change

The health and safety of employees in Connecticut and elsewhere is important. In order to ensure that these ideals are met, various rules have been implemented to increase the safety in the work environment. A rule enacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA recently is having a noticeable impact surrounding injuries at work, according to a report from the head of OSHA.

The rule, which went into effect on January 1, 2015, requires that employers everywhere must notify OSHA within 24 hours if a worker suffers an injury that includes a loss of an eye, an amputation, or involved in an event that leads to one or more workers being admitted for in-patient care at a hospital. Employers must also report fatalities within eight hours, although this is not a new requirement but reemphasized in this new law.

According to the head of OSHA, the reporting required by this rule had the effect of creating first time contact between certain employers and OSHA as the employers report injuries in 2015 already. Additionally, OSHA's head contends that the rule has led to an increased employer appreciation of the need to actively address workplace injuries.

Following the enactment of this rule, OSHA has been asking a number of employers to report back to the agency regarding what the causes of the incident that led to injury may have been, as well as any corrective action that may be planned.

The head of OSHA reported that they did not receive as many incident reports from the construction industry as anticipated, however, he attributed this to a possible slow-down in construction work due to the winter weather conditions.

Suffering an on-the-job injury can be a frightening prospect and should be treated with care and attention. This new rule appears to appreciate the severity of workers' injuries and how it is necessary to address them promptly. Those injured in the workplace should understand the options and rights available to them. A workers' compensation claim could help the injured worker receive this benefit to cover expenses related to the work incident, such as medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

Source: National Law Review, "New OSHA Reporting Rule Having an Impact, Michaels Says," Bradford T. Hammock, Henry Chajet, Mark Savit, April 23, 2015

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