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Updated Job Accident Reporting Rules

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has expanded which job accidents must be reported.

Employees in Pennsylvania know that job-related accidents can and do happen in any type of business or job. These incidents often precipitate the need for assistance such as Workers’ Compensation to cover medical care costs and even loss of income. When a fatal accident occurs, there may be special benefits available for surviving family members.

A look at Pennsylvania’s job accident statistics

Nationwide, there were 4,405 workplace fatalities recorded nationwide according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. In Pennsylvania alone, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 183 people died from injuries sustained in on-the-job accidents. These deaths spanned a variety of occupations, as follows:

  • Sales or office jobs accounted for 12 deaths.
  • Service occupations saw 22 fatalities occur.
  • A total of 35 workers in management, business, arts or science jobs lost their lives.
  • Construction, natural resources and maintenance workers accounted for 49 of the deaths.
  • Workers in material moving, production and transportation jobs comprised 65 of all fatalities.

Seeing these records highlights the need for safety programs in any line of work, not just in those considered more dangerous than others.

What happens after a job accident occurs?

One of the steps that Pennsylvania companies are required to follow after some accidents is to report the incident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Recently, OSHA added to the list additional accidents that must be reported.

Under the new rules, every fatal workplace accident must be reported within a maximum of eight hours, even if only one person was involved. All incidents that require at least one person to be admitted to the hospital or that result in the loss of an eye or an amputation must be reported in no more than 24 hours.

An article in Business Insurance discusses how OSHA was seeking to expand online reporting of incidents. Companies’ hesitation about privacy issues led to a compromise in which online reporting is not required by the law but neither is it discouraged by employers.

Are businesses required to keeps records?

OSHA does stipulate which businesses must keep accident records. This list focuses on the nature of the industry and the business size as well as the specifics of an accident. Just this year, more businesses were required to maintain these records. There are lists of exemptions under which some companies may fall.

Recommendations for injured workers

Any person who is injured while performing job duties should seek appropriate medical care promptly. In addition, help with Workers’ Compensation claims or other means of compensation can be obtained by talking to a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the law offices of Jeffrey S. Gross. Contact our office online or call 215-512-1500.