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New regulations from OSHA for Oklahoma employers

In an effort to improve workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has stated that new regulations for reporting injuries have been instituted as of Jan. 1. The new regulations, applicable to employers in Oklahoma and around the country, require prompt and detailed descriptions of deaths and hospitalizations that result from accidents n the workplace. Greater amounts of information are expected to improve efforts to identify common dangers in workplaces and help prevent injuries in the future.

Businesses must now report work-related deaths within eight hours and hospitalizations within 24 hours of the organization finding out. Additionally, even businesses that would normally not have to keep OSHA reports because of the number of employees are also obligated to follow the new guidelines. Prior to the rule change, only accidents involving three or more workers and resulting in death or hospitalization were required to be reported.

There are a few exceptions to the new regulations where, depending on the circumstances, employers are not obligated to report a death or a hospitalization. These circumstances are when a death takes place more than 24 hours after an accident ora hospitalization takes place more than 30 days after an accident. However, if the hospitalization is only for diagnostics or observation, even if a worker is admitted as an in-patient, then reporting is not required.

Workers' compensation covers medical costs and lost wages for individuals who have been harmed at or as a result of their job. Compensation is available for those who have been injured directly or have developed medical conditions. A lawyer may be able to assist people filing a workers' compensation claim for workplace injuries by explaining the process and helping them throughout.

Source: Insurance Journal, "New OSHA Reporting Rules on Workplace Deaths, Hospitalizations in Effect Jan. 1", December 31, 2014

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