What workplace accidents must be reported to OSHA?

Accidents on the job are an unfortunate reality of life for many Minnesota workers. The level of risk of being involved in injury producing accidents may vary from industry to industry but is nonetheless real for everyone. Construction workers, for example, have a higher chance of being injured or killed on the job that someone working in a retail establishment but because accidents can and do happen anywhere, all persons should know the laws that govern the reporting of these incidents and how to get help when they occur.

On-the-job accident reporting is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and just this past year, OSHA updated its rules regarding what incidents must be reported.

What changed in OSHA's update?

For some time, select accidents only required reporting to OSHA if at least three people were involved. The latest update from the government agency now requires that an accident on the job that involves even just one person must be reported if it falls within certain parameters.

The parameters for those accidents that must be reported include:

  • At least one person was admitted to a hospital due to injuries sustained.
  • At least one person lost an upper or lower extremity due to the accident.
  • At least one person lost eyes due to the accident.
  • At least one person died as a result of the accident.

All fatalities are required to be reported within a period of eight hours. Those accidents which result in hospitalization, amputation of an arm, leg, hand or foot or the loss of eyes are required to be reported within 24 hours.

How common are serious on-the-job accidents?

While not every accident that happens on a job location is serious, a great many of them are. Employees can become victims in moments and be left with permanent disabilities, high medical bills, loss of income and other consequences all too easily. The rate of deaths from workplace accidents is also higher than many people may think.

According to data provided by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, over 4,400 deaths resulted from job-related accidents in 2013 across the country. This represents an average of 3.2 employees out of every 100,000 that are identified as being employed on a full-time or full-time equivalent basis. The great majority of those fatalities-over 3,900 of them-happened within private sector businesses.

What should accident victims do?

Any employee who is injured on the job deserves the right compensation and assistance. The Minnesota Workers' Compensation Laws provide for injured workers to be compensated for their injuries. Working with a qualified attorney is the best way to secure this level of help. Contact the Fellman Law Office to schedule a free consultation.