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Notifying OSHA of Fatalities or Severe Injuries

Guide to Reporting Fatalities, Hospitalizations, Amputations, and Losses of an Eye as a Result of Work-related Incidents to OSHA

I. Purpose

    This Guide provides assistance in identifying severe work-related injuries and illnesses, and implementing the severe injuries and illnesses reporting requirements to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Also, the Guide supplements the policies and procedures included in DAO 209-3 Injury, Illness, Accident/Incident and Motor Vehicle Accident Reporting and Investigation and clarifies the procedures for reporting such severe work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA.

II. Applicability

    The procedures for reporting severe work-related injuries and illnesses to OSHA presented in this Guide apply to all DOC bureaus, agencies, offices, operating units, and other components.

III. DOC Safety and Health Policy

    The safety and health of all Commerce employees is of utmost importance. The Department is fully dedicated to conducting a comprehensive occupational safety and health program to prevent accidents and injuries and providing a safe place of employment. Further, the Department is required by law to establish and maintain an effective Occupational Safety and Health Program that: (a) provides all its employees a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm; and (b) complies with applicable occupational safety and health standards and regulations.

IV. DOC Injury, Illness, Accident/Incident and Motor Vehicle Accident Reporting and Investigation Requirements (DOC DAO 209-3)

    DOC DAO 209-3 sets forth the policies, requirements, procedures, forms and electronic systems to be used when reporting (to DOC), investigating, and recording occupational injuries, illnesses, accidents/incidents, fatalities, work-related motor vehicle accident, and major damage to federal property.

    Additionally, DAO 209-3 requires operating units to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours and work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours.

V. OSHA Recordkeeping and Severe Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

    A. OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements

      Under the OSHA Recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904 - Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses), covered employers (including Federal agencies) are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses, using the OSHA 300 Log. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.

    B. Reporting Fatalities, Hospitalizations, Amputations, and Losses of an Eye as a Result of Work-related Incidents to OSHA (1904.39)

      1. On September 18, 2014, OSHA published a Federal Register notice (79 FR 56130-56188) announcing changes to the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records, and to the list of severe work-related injuries and illnesses that all covered employers must report to OSHA (e.g., one or more fatalities, hospitalizations of one or more employees, any amputations, and losses of an eye). These requirements became effective on January 1, 2015 for workplaces under Federal OSHA jurisdiction.

      2. Previously, the recordkeeping regulations required employers to report work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees within eight hours of the event. The revised final rule retained the requirement for employers to report work-related fatalities to OSHA within eight hours of the event. However, the revised final rule amended the regulation to require employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, as well as amputations and losses of an eye, to OSHA within 24hours of the event.

    C. Severe Injury Reporting Requirements

      According to 29 CFR 1904.39 (Reporting fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye as a result of work-related incidents) covered employers are now required to report to OSHA the following severe work-related injuries and illnesses:

      1904.39(a)

      Basic requirement.

      1904.39(a)(1)

      Within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the fatality to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.

      1904.39(a)(2)

      Within twenty-four (24) hours after the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees or an employee's amputation or an employee's loss of an eye, as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to OSHA.

      1904.39(a)(3)

      You must report the fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye using one of the following methods:

      1904.39(a)(3)(i)

      By telephone or in person to the OSHA Area Office that is nearest to the site of the incident.

      1904.39(a)(3)(ii)

      By telephone to the OSHA toll-free central telephone number, 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742).

      1904.39(a)(3)(iii)

      By electronic submission using the reporting application located on OSHA's public Web site at www.osha.gov.

      Serious Event Reporting Online Form

      1904.39(b)

      Implementation

      1904.39(b)(1)

      If the Area Office is closed, may I report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye by leaving a message on OSHA's answering machine, faxing the Area Office, or sending an email? No, if the Area Office is closed, you must report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye using either the 800 number or the reporting application located on OSHA's public Web site at www.osha.gov.

      1904.39(b)(2)

      What information do I need to give to OSHA about the in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye? You must give OSHA the following information for each fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye:

      1904.39(b)(2)(i)

      The establishment name;

      1904.39(b)(2)(ii)

      The location of the work-related incident;

      1904.39(b)(2)(iii)

      The time of the work-related incident;

      1904.39(b)(2)(iv)

      The type of reportable event (i.e., fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye);

      1904.39(b)(2)(v)

      The number of employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;

      1904.39(b)(2)(vi)

      The names of the employees who suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye;

      1904.39(b)(2)(vii)

      Your contact person and his or her phone number; and

      1904.39(b)(2)(viii)

      A brief description of the work-related incident.

      1904.39(b)(3)

      Do I have to report the fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye if it resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway? If the motor vehicle accident occurred in a construction work zone, you must report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. If the motor vehicle accident occurred on a public street or highway, but not in a construction work zone, you do not have to report the fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to OSHA. However, the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

      1904.39(b)(4)

      Do I have to report the fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye if it occurred on a commercial or public transportation system? No, you do not have to report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to OSHA if it occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (e.g., airplane, train, subway, or bus). However, the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

      1904.39(b)(5)

      Do I have to report a work-related fatality or in-patient hospitalization caused by a heart attack? Yes, your local OSHA Area Office director will decide whether to investigate the event, depending on the circumstances of the heart attack.

      1904.39(b)(6)

      What if the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye does not occur during or right after the work-related incident? You must only report a fatality to OSHA if the fatality occurs within thirty (30) days of the work-related incident. For an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, you must only report the event to OSHA if it occurs within twenty-four (24) hours of the work-related incident. However, the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

      1904.39(b)(7)

      What if I don't learn about a reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye right away? If you do not learn about a reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye at the time it takes place, you must make the report to OSHA within the following time period after the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye is reported to you or to any of your agent(s): Eight (8) hours for a fatality, and twenty-four (24) hours for an in-patient hospitalization, an amputation, or a loss of an eye.

      1904.39(b)(8)

      What if I don't learn right away that the reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye was the result of a work-related incident? If you do not learn right away that the reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye was the result of a work-related incident, you must make the report to OSHA within the following time period after you or any of your agent(s) learn that the reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye was the result of a work-related incident: Eight (8) hours for a fatality, and twenty-four (24) hours for an inpatient hospitalization, an amputation, or a loss of an eye.

      1904.39(b)(9)

      How does OSHA define "in-patient hospitalization"? OSHA defines inpatient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.

      1904.39(b)(10)

      Do I have to report an in-patient hospitalization that involves only observation or diagnostic testing? No, you do not have to report an in-patient hospitalization that involves only observation or diagnostic testing. You must only report to OSHA each inpatient hospitalization that involves care or treatment.

      1904.39(b)(11)

      How does OSHA define "amputation"? An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.

    D. Additional OSHA Clarifications and Guidance

      Question 39-1. When a work-related heart attack occurs in the workplace and the employee dies one or more days later, how should the case be reported to OSHA?

      The employer must report the fatality within eight hours of the employee's death in cases where the death occurs within 30 days of the incident. The employer need not report a death occurring more than 30 days after a work-related incident.

VI. References

1 Currently under development.