Anticipating a large increase in severe injury reports (fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye), OSHA issued an internal enforcement memorandum on December 24, 2014, to help the field offices manage these reports. It provides new procedures on when to launch an inspection. Recently, OSHA revised its Interim Enforcement Procedures for New Reporting Requirements under 29 CFR 1904.
The memorandum provides valuable insight into additional questions employers may be asked, and outlines the triage process field offices will use to sort through the data and determine whether to open an on-site inspection or initiate a Rapid Response Investigation (RRI).
Under 29 CFR 1904.39, employers are required to report to OSHA all inpatient hospitalization, amputations, and loss of an eye within 24 hours on the work-related incident. Fatalities must be reported within 8 hours. Failing to report will now result in an other-than-serious citation with a penalty of $5,000—previously it was $1,000. If the area director determines that it is appropriate to “achieve the necessary deterrent effect” that penalty can be as high as $7,000.