No one wants to experience an accident on the job, but sometimes they happen despite our best efforts. As a business owner, it’s important to know and understand your responsibilities when it comes to reporting workplace accidents according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. With the right knowledge, you can ensure that any unfortunate incidents are reported properly while upholding compliance standards. In this blog post, we’ll explain OSHA’s requirements for accident reporting so you can protect both your workforce and business as a whole.
Reporting Accidents to OSHA
If your company is in the private sector, and a serious accident or fatality occurs, you may be required to report it to your State or Federal OSHA office.
OSHA Standard 1904.39, Reporting fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye due to work-related incidents to OSHA, details the specific requirements.
Within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the fatality to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.
Within twenty-four (24) hours after the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees or an employee’s amputation, or an employee’s loss of an eye as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to OSHA.
Accident and Dangerous Occurrence Reporting
Accidents and dangerous occurrences must be reported to the Authority in line with the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work (Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 370 of 2016). The guidance document below explains why accident and dangerous occurrence reporting is required, what is reportable, what is not reportable, who should make the report, and how the report should be made.
These are some of the key points about reporting accidents and dangerous occurrences:
- Only fatal and non-fatal injuries are reportable. Diseases, occupational illnesses, or any impairments of mental condition are not reportable.
- Fatal accidents must be reported immediately to the Authority or Gardaí. Subsequently, the formal report should be submitted to the Authority within five working days of the death.
- Non-fatal accidents or dangerous occurrences should be reported to the Authority within ten working days of the event.
- Injuries to any employee as a result of an accident at work where the injury results in the employee being unable to carry out their normal work duties for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident, must be reported to the Authority.
Why It’s Important To Report Accidents?
Reporting accidents is important to maintaining a safe work environment and reducing the risk of future incidents. When an accident occurs, underlying causes often may not be immediately apparent.
By reporting the details of the incident to relevant authorities, investigations can be conducted to determine what caused the accident and how to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Accident reporting also allows employers to monitor their safety performance and adjust procedures as necessary. It can even help identify potential hazards before they lead to a serious incident.
In addition, having an accurate record of safety incidents helps protect employees and employers from legal liability in a lawsuit. These factors make accident reporting an essential part of any safety management system.
Finally, accident reporting not only helps ensure a safe work environment but can also help improve workplace morale. When employers show that they value the safety of their employees and are taking steps to prevent accidents, it can foster a culture of trust and camaraderie in the workplace.