OSHA: Small and Medium Size Businesses Take Note

In a recently released report, OSHA believes that up to 50 percent or more of severe injuries go unreported. During 2015, year one of OSHA’s new 24 hour reporting requirements, most reports were filed by large employers. Thus OSHA believes that many small and mid-sized employers are unaware of the new requirements. For 2016, OSHA is “developing outreach strategies, including working through insurers, first responders, and business organizations.” Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels states, “We are also seeking new ways to make sure that small employers know about their reporting obligations and the resources available to them.”

Employers who do not report are on notice: “OSHA is more likely to cite for non-reporting” in 2016 as it is the second year of the new requirements. OSHA increased the unadjusted penalty cap for not reporting a severe injury to $7,000; that amount increases dramatically when higher penalty levels take effect later in 2016 (as reported in this MSEC Hot Topics article).

Employers who know about the requirement and choose not to report as required face steep fines; one such employer was fined $70,000 for willfully failing to report.

Workplace Safety is an essential concern for all employers, and MSEC has a variety of safety resources to assist members. A new resource is the “Workplace Safety 101” training kit from JJ Keller, available in English and Spanish, available for checkout from the MSEC Library.

Members with questions about workplace safety requirements are encouraged to contact MSEC for assistance.