OSHA’s Web Portal for Fatality and Injury Reporting Goes Live – But Use It with Caution

By Eric J. Conn, Chair of Conn Maciel Carey’s OSHA Practice

In addition to employers’ longstanding obligation to report to OSHA all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, as of January 1, 2015, all employers were required to also begin reporting to OSHA within 24 hours, all work-related in-patient hospitalizations (of just a single employee), amputations and losses of an eye . OSHA is publishing the details about these reported injuries online.

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We have written extensively about OSHA’s new reporting rule, including articles that:

  1. Explain the requirements of the new rule;
  2. Describe what happens after injuries are reported to OSHA; and
  3. Dissect the nuances of the amputation component of the rule.

Under the new reporting rule, employers have three ways to perfect the notification to OSHA. As has been compliant for year, employers may call the nearest OSHA Area Office or call OSHA’s toll-free reporting hotline – 800-321-OSHA.

The new rule also introduced a new reporting methodology – a web portal for online fatality and injury reporting. The web portal, however, was under development until just a couple of weeks ago.

OSHA was very excited to Reporting Web Portalintroduce the new web portal because of the “success” of OSHA’s other recent experiment with web portal reporting – whistleblower retaliation complaints. A couple of years ago, OSHA introduced a convenient web portal for employees to report retaliation complaints, and the number of complaints filed by employees surged.

OSHA believes injuries and fatalities are being under-reported by employers, so OSHA supposed that could be addressed by this more convenient technology.

While the online reporting portal is an easy method for reporting, and it is available 24/7, it does have major drawbacks. Employers should Continue reading