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OSHA sees its severe injury report program as a success

| Sep 27, 2016 | Workers' Compensation |

New York residents may be acquainted with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s severe workplace injury reporting program that was introduced on Jan. 1, 2015. A representative for the agency said that, while the number of serious workplace injuries resulting in amputations and hospitalization still needs to be reduced, the program has helped OSHA focus its resources where they’re needed.

The rule requires employers to report any workplace injury that results in eye loss, in-patient hospitalization or amputations to OSHA within 24 hours following the incident. During the first year of the rule, employers reported 2,644 work-related amputations and 7,636 hospitalizations, according to data recorded by federal OSHA states.

Industries with the highest number of reported amputations in 2015 were manufacturing, which had 57 percent of the total, and construction, which had 10 percent. As for the industries with the most amounts of reported hospitalizations for that year, manufacturing had 26 percent, construction had 19 percent, and warehousing and transportation each had 11 percent. According to OSHA, the majority of the dangers that cause these severe injuries could have been avoided.

Although OSHA sees the program as a success, the agency alleges that up to half of employers are failing to report severe injuries to them. OSHA suspects that many of these employers operate small and mid-size businesses and may be either unaware of the rules or think they are saving money by not reporting the injuries.

Employees who suffer an on-the-job injury, such as one that causes them to lose an eye or a limb, are entitled to certain types of benefits via workers’ compensation. By filing the claim, injured workers may receive a reasonable amount of compensation for their medical expenses and income losses. An attorney might be able to help a victim ensure benefits.

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