Picking up from where 2015 OSHA Changes You & Your Employer May Need to Know (Pt. 1) left off, here, we will continue to highlight some of the most noteworthy updates to OSHA regulations that have gone into effect as of this year.
While the first part of this blog series focused on revealing 2015 OSHA changes regarding reporting and recordkeeping requirements for employers, below, we will discuss what else employers and employees may want to know when it comes to complying with these latest OSHA regulatory updates.
Compliance with 2015 OSHA Changes: How to Report Incidents to OSHA
In order to maintain compliance with all 2015 OSHA changes, employers can report the various workplace accidents or incidents by:
- Directly calling OSHA’s free and confidential hotline at (800) 321-6742 (OSHA)
- Contacting a local area OSHA office
- Completing and submitting OSHA’s new online form.
In explaining why these 2015 OSHA changes when into effect, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, has stated:
OSHA will now receive crucial reports of fatalities and severe work-related injuries and illnesses that will significantly enhance the agency’s ability to target our resources to save lives and prevent further injury and illness. This new data will enable the agency to identify the workplaces where workers are at the greatest risk and target our compliance assistance and enforcement resources accordingly.
2015 OSHA Changes: Additional Important Info to Know
- The goal of the 2015 OSHA changes is to “improve access by employers, employees, researchers and the public to information about workplace safety and health and increase their ability to identify and abate serious hazards.”
- Only deaths that occur within 30 days of workplace accidents and injuries must be reported to OSHA.
- Employers in states with their own OSHA-approved State Plans may have slightly different implementation dates for the 2015 OSHA changes, so these entities are advised to consult with their State Plan to ensure they are in full compliance.
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If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot rely upon your employer or insurance companies to look out for your best interests. In fact, both your employer and insurance companies will be more focused on their own bottom lines instead of your current and future wellbeing. This can make the system adversarial for injured workers and potentially even put them in situations in which their legitimate workers’ compensation claims are undercut or even flat-out denied.
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