Under the Federal and State laws enacted and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers have a responsibility to provide their employees with a safe work area. Unfortunately, personal accidents occur every day in the workplace. These accidents require immediate action and should always be taken seriously.
OSHA provides a series of standards with expectations for a variety of industries, including regulations regarding machinery operation, hazardous worksites, guidelines on routine safety issues, and the importance of training and education of employers to prevent injuries. Employers should provide all employees with a copy of their safety expectations and some industries are required to provide a written manual to their employees in addition to video training and testing to ensure that they fully understand the requirements.
In the event of an accident in the workplace, all employers under the jurisdiction of OSHA are required to report the accident even if they are typically exempt from keeping OSHA records. Under section 1904.31 for recording injuries and illnesses, the employer that provides the day-to-day supervision of the worker, including a temporary worker, must make a report to OSHA for any work-related incident resulting in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye. Fatalities must be reported within eight (8) hours and amputations, loss of an eye, and/or in-patient hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours.
To make a report, an employer can contact the nearest OSHA office or call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-6742. They should be prepared to provide the following information:
- Business name
- Names of the affected employee(s)
- Location and time of the incident
- A brief description of the incident
- The contact person and their phone number
If the nearest office is closed, the employer must call the 24-hour number and cannot leave a message on the local office’s email or send an email.
Employers are not required to report an incident that occurred in the following circumstances:
- A motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway (except in a construction work zone);
- An accident that occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (such as a bus or airplane);
- An accident that involved hospitalization for diagnostic testing or observation only.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to an accident on the worksite, negligence on the job site, or a defective product, an experienced personal injury lawyer can review your claim and determine if there were unsafe working conditions, potential OSHA violations, and other hazards that may have existed at the time of your accident. They will also determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages and what compensation you may be entitled to.
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