Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the US Congress also established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The organization was established mainly to ensure safe working conditions for employees of a construction site. This is achieved by setting and enforcing certain safety standards that all owners and general contractors have to comply with, which also includes training workshops, outreach and assistance, all of which are designed to deliver industry-specific safety rules and regulations to general contractors and owners. Employers who have more than 10 employees at a construction site are required to keep records of any serious work-related injuries or illnesses of their employees. It is important to note that industries that are considered to be low-risk are exempted from this rule and any minor injuries that require first aid do not have to be recorded.
Who Should Report?
Every employer under the OSHA jurisdiction needs to report any incidents of injuries to OSHA, including those employers who are exempt from keeping OSHA records due to their company’s size or industry.
What Information Should be Reported?
The employer will be required to provide certain information relating to the employee’s injury. This will include the business name, and the name of the employee who has been injured, the location where the incident occurred, and the time of the incident. The employer will also need to give a brief description of how the incident occurred and what was the reason, along with providing the injured person’s contact information and phone number.
The Need for Recording Injuries
The information that’s compiled by the employer enables the employer, employees, and OSHA evaluate the safety concerns and requirements of a particular work site, so that they can implement certain procedures and protocols that will ensure the safety of the employees on a work site. This information is also useful for preventing any unfortunate incidents on the work site in future. The records that are maintained by the employer on the employees of a worksite must include information on at least the last five years. Every year between February and April, Employers are required to post a summary of any injuries or illnesses that have taken place. This summary will only include the information on incidents which occurred the previous year.
When to Not Report an Incident?
Employers are not obligated to report any incident that takes place on a work site if the event resulted from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on a public street, or any other place except for the construction site where the employee was working. Employers are also not required to report an incident if it took place on a public or commercial transportation system. For instance, if the incident took place on a train or airplane. Lastly, the employer is not obligated to report on an incident if it just involved hospitalization for observation only or for the purpose of diagnostic testing.
If you find that your state does not follow the federal OSHA standards, you can easily get information on a particular state’s own occupational safety and health program on their website. While the reporting methods might vary according to the state you’re in, you should always hire an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.