When compared to the days of the Industrial Revolution, or even those of the early twentieth century, the modern workplace is relatively safe.One of the key players in saving the lives of American workers is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was created in 1970 to help employers and employees reduce on-the job injuries, illnesses and deaths.
Since then, workplace deaths have been cut by more than 60 percent, and occupational injuries and illnesses have declined 40 percent.Nevertheless, more than three million Americans are still hurt at work every year, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 4,405 fatal work injuries in 2013.
New OSHA Regulations in KentuckyCovering private sector employers/employees nationwide, OSHA issues regulations requiring employers to adopt practices necessary and appropriate for protecting workers on the job. OSHA’s latest effort to address the problem of unsafe workplaces went into effect on January 1, 2015, and outlined a new federal rule regarding the reporting of workplace injuries. Prior to 2015, employers were required to report fatalities and to report when three or more workers required hospitalization due to the same type of accident. The new standard now requires employers to report all workplace fatalities within eight hours of the incident and to report all hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours of the incident.
YOU CAN REPORT TO OSHA BY
- Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
- Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
- Using the new online form that will soon be available.
Amputations / Loss of LimbAn amputation is defined by the new recordkeeping regulation as “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, which is the tearing or forcible separation of tissue. Examples of avulsion that do not need to be reported include deglovings, scalpings, fingernail and toenail removal, eyelid removal, loss of a tooth and severed ears.
Dangerous Work Areas in KYDesigned to pinpoint dangerous work areas in a timely manner, this new policy retains the recordkeeping exemption for any employer with less than 11 employees and for certain low-hazard industries while expanding the list of severe work-related injuries that must be reported.
Since hospitalization and amputation are prime indicators of workplace hazards, it is hoped that identifying such hazards earlier will avert future work injuries and fatalities.Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. If you have been injured at work or have more questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with the Johnson Law Firm. We are ready to provide you with a free and confidential initial consultation. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or through our online form.