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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » OSHA Proposal Would Revise List of Industries Required to Record and Report Worker Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA Proposal Would Revise List of Industries Required to Record and Report Worker Injuries and Illnesses


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On June 22, OSHA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would significantly revise the list of industries required to record workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA regulations partially exempt certain industries from the obligation to maintain such records because those industries have relatively low rates of occupational injuries and illnesses. The industries are only partially exempt, because employers in these industries still must respond to OSHA or Bureau of Labor Statistics annual occupational injury and illness surveys on request. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 1904.41 & 1904.42

The list of partially exempt industries in the current regulations is based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, which dates to the 1930s and is no longer used in government statistics.  The proposed rule would replace this list with one based on the newer North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Under the proposed rule, employers in 59 different industries would be required for the first time routinely to record illness and injury information. These industries include:  retail bakeries; car dealerships; hardware stores; liquor stores; property managers; theater and dance companies; museums; photography studios and labs; and video rental stores. In contrast, 72 industries that currently have to record this data would become partially exempt. The new exemption extends to:  boat dealers; book, newspaper, and periodical publishers; radio stations; television broadcasters; and wireless telecommunication carriers.

In addition, the proposed rule would make reportable all amputations and in-patient hospitalizations resulting from work-related incidents. Employers would be required to report all work-related fatalities and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations within eight hours, and all work-related amputations within 24 hours. Currently, employers are required to report within eight hours work-related incidents resulting in a fatality or that result in the in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Employers need not report amputations resulting from work-related incidents at all if they do not require in-patient hospitalization.

OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would impose new recordkeeping requirements on 199,000 establishments, with a total of 5.3 million employees. The agency anticipates that those establishments, in turn, would record 173,000 injuries and illnesses per year. This impact would be offset, in part, by an estimated 119,000 establishments, with a total 4.0 million employees and an estimated 76,000 injuries and illnesses per year, that would no longer need to keep records.

Overall, OSHA estimates that the proposed rule would cost about $8.5 million, with costs of $50 to $100 for each affected establishment.