OSHA Issues Final Rule to Revise Occupational Injury and Illness Reporting

Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule designed to improve the agency’s tracking of injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace. Under the new rule, certain employers must now electronically submit data regarding injuries and illnesses. Employers had already been required to log this data on official OSHA forms kept onsite.

Although it is a simple revision, the new rule will be essential to aiding OSHA in its mission to better understand the nature of workplace injuries and occupational illnesses across the country. Specifically, electronically recorded data can allow for not only more accurate record-keeping, but also meticulous review based on the type of injuries and illnesses sustained, the industry in which the workplace incident occurred, and other critical data that may prove useful in helping OSHA identify risks and areas of concern. Much of this data will be available for public viewing on OSHA’s website.

For employees and job seekers, the new rule can provide transparency about safety issues related to a workplace and industry. Once more data is accumulated and reviewed, it may also prove invaluable in creating new safety regulations that protect workers from unreasonable risks and hazards.

Unfortunately, even with the most thorough record-keeping, accidents, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace can still occur. When they do, injured employees have a right to pursue benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance in order to receive medical benefits and wage supplementation. These benefits are critical to helping workers obtain the medical care their need, and to help them financially as they recover. In some cases, injured workers may have the right to pursue compensation outside of workers’ compensation insurance and through a personal injury claim. These typically involve cases in which workers were injured as a result of a third party’s negligence (such as a contractor), a defective product, exposure to a toxic substance, or an employer’s intentional and egregious conduct.

At Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C., our legal team has experience in helping injured victims protect their rights following accidents and explore the most appropriate path to compensation. We also work with clients in the construction industry and other sectors that may require assistance in handling legal issues involving insurance, regulatory compliance, or litigation.

To discuss a potential case, contact us for a FREE consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout the Southeast.