United States: New OSHA Reporting Mandate Includes Single Employee Hospitalization

Last Updated: October 2 2014
Article by Dennis J. Morikawa, Jonathan L. Snare and Courtney Wirth Griffin

Prior to January 1, 2015, employers should take steps to ensure compliance with a significant new OSHA rule that requires employers to notify OSHA within 24 hours of the in-patient hospitalization of more than one employee or an employee's amputation or loss of an eye.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements, codified at 29 C.F.R. § 1904.2 and 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39, effective January 1, 2015. The revised rule was published on September 18.1

Most significantly, the revised rule contains a new reporting requirement, which mandates that employers report to OSHA within 24 hours of any work-related incident that results in (a) the in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees, (b) an employee's amputation, or (c) an employee's loss of an eye. Previously, employers were only required to report to OSHA within eight hours of any work-related incident that resulted in the hospitalization of three or more employees. Reporting an amputation or loss of an eye was not required. The requirement to report a work-related fatality within eight hours remains unchanged. OSHA estimates that the new reporting requirement could lead to 170,000 additional reportable incidents per year, any of which could be used as the basis for initiating an inspection by OSHA.

A summary of the current and new reporting requirements is below.

Type of Incident Reporting Requirement Through December 31, 2014 Reporting Requirement Effective January 1, 2015
Work-related fatality Report to OSHA within eight hours (if fatality occurs within 30 days of the incident). Report to OSHA within eight hours (if fatality occurs within 30 days of the incident).
Work-related in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees For one–two employees, no reporting required.

For three or more employees, report to OSHA within eight hours.
Report to OSHA within 24 hours (if hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of the incident).
Work-related amputation No reporting requirement. Report to OSHA within 24 hours (if amputation occurs within 24 hours of the incident).
Work-related loss of an eye No reporting requirement. Report to OSHA within 24 hours (if loss occurs within 24 hours of the incident).

Additionally, as explained further below, OSHA has modified the categories of employers who are partially exempt from the requirement to keep annual worksite-specific injury and illness records.

Definitions of New Terms

The revised rule contains the following two new definitions:

  • "In-patient hospitalization" is defined as a "formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for treatment" that involves more than only observation or diagnostic testing.
  • "Amputation" is defined as a "traumatic loss of a limb or other external body 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; [and] amputations of body parts that have since been reattached," but the definition does not include "avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth."

Method of Reporting and Potential Public Disclosure

Previously, employers could provide notice to OSHA of a reportable incident by contacting the OSHA Area Office nearest to the site of the incident during business hours or by calling OSHA's toll-free central telephone number, 1.800.321.OSHA (1.800.321.6742). Under the revised rule, employers may still use these same methods; however, an employer will also be permitted to report an incident through a reporting application located on OSHA's website. (Note: As of the date of this publication, the reporting application is not yet up and running.)

Additionally, during a press call on the revised rule on September 11, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels stated that the new reports that employers will be required to make under the rule will be available to the general public on OSHA's website (currently, OSHA only publishes reports of fatalities). The publication of these reports was not addressed in the revised rule, and it is unclear whether OSHA has statutory authority to do so. However, publishing the reports would be in line with a growing trend of OSHA's using publicity more aggressively to, in the words of Dr. Michaels, "nudge" employers to "prevent injuries so they are not seen as unsafe places to work."

Indeed, a proposed rule published by OSHA on November 8, 2013 would require certain employers to electronically submit establishment-specific injury and illness records (i.e., all recordable injuries) directly to OSHA, and it also provided that OSHA planned to post that data on its website.2 OSHA recently published a supplement to that proposed rule on August 14, 2014, which indicated its intention to give increased scrutiny to employers' policies on reporting injuries/illnesses (focusing on "unreasonable requirements for reporting injuries and illnesses and retaliating against employees who report injuries and illnesses").3 OSHA has justified this supplement by relying on stakeholders' concern that the proposed electronic reporting of workplace injury/illness data would "motivate" employers to under-report such data. This is all part of OSHA's broad focus on employers' recordkeeping obligations over the last few years, including enforcement initiatives and the Policy Memorandum (the Fairfax Memo) released by OSHA on March 12, 2012, which focused on employee discipline policies and practices relating to reporting workplace injuries/illnesses as well as safety incentive programs.4

Changes in the Industries Partially Exempt from Recordkeeping

Under the old rule, employers in certain industries identified as "low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance, or real estate" industries based on their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code were not required to keep yearly OSHA injury and illness records (OSHA forms 300, 300A, and 301), unless specifically asked to do so. The new rule relies on an employer's North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code rather than the SIC code. Under the new rule, OSHA estimates that 220,000 establishments employing 5.5 million employees will be newly required to keep records and 160,000 establishments employing 4.1 million employees will now be exempt. Specifically, employers in the following industries will now be required to keep injury and illness records effective January 1, 2015:

NAICS Code Industry Description

3118 Bakeries and tortilla manufacturing

4411 Automobile dealers

4413 Automotive parts, accessories, and tire stores

4441 Building material and supplies dealers

4452 Specialty food stores

4453 Beer, wine, and liquor stores

4539 Other miscellaneous store retailers

4543 Direct selling establishments

5311 Lessors of real estate

5313 Activities related to real estate

5322 Consumer goods rental

5324 Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment
rental and leasing

5419 Other professional, scientific, and technical services

5612 Facilities support services

5617 Services to buildings and dwellings

5619 Other support services

6219 Other ambulatory health care services

6241 Individual and family services

6242 Community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services

7111 Performing arts companies

7113 Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events

7121 Museums, historical sites, and similar institutions

7139 Other amusement and recreation industries

7223 Special food services

8129 Other personal services

Who Is Covered?

The changes to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements apply to all employers covered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). Employers working in a jurisdiction with an OSHA-Approved State Plan should consult the applicable State Plan regulations. OSHA has instructed State Plans to adopt a rule that is "identical to or at least as effective" as the revised rule.


To ensure compliance with the new reporting and recordkeeping rules, employers covered by the federal OSH Act should do the following:

  • Review their safety handbooks and policies to ensure compliance with the new reporting requirements
  • Review their NAICS code (see here for assistance in determining NAICS codes) to determine whether they will or will not be required to keep injury and illness records and update recordkeeping policies as appropriate
  • Train employees on the new reporting and recordkeeping requirements

Failure to comply with these new requirements could subject employers to citation under the OSH Act.


[1]. 79 Fed. Reg. 56,130 (Sept. 18, 2014), available here.

[2]. Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 78 Fed. Reg. 67,254 (proposed Nov. 8, 2013), available here.

[3]. Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, 79 Fed. Reg. 47,605 (proposed Aug. 14, 2014), available here.

[4]. For more information on the Fairfax Memo, see our April 20, 2012 LawFlash, "OSHA Strengthens DOL's Whistleblower Protection Program ," available here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.