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New tactics for the reporting of workplace accidents in Maryland

Changes are coming to the way that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does business in Maryland and elsewhere starting in January of 2015. For one thing, the reporting rules are going to change for business owners.

As of right now, if an employee is killed on the job, the company has to report it within a span of eight hours. However, for lesser injuries, they do not have to make the report unless the event is considered a catastrophe. This means, with the current definition, that there must be at least three hospital admissions linked to the event. A single injury does not trigger an automatic report.

The changes would apply to these smaller events. Under the new regulations, employers are going to have to report every significant injury. These could be amputation injuries or instances where an employee loses an eye. They are not as tragic as a death on the job, but they are still serious events.

On top of that, this new data will be added to an online site so that people can see the injury reports. Right now, deaths and the aforementioned catastrophic situations are put online, but the more minor injuries are not. This new reporting is meant to spread the word about the realities of working for these companies, which is hoped to encourage the owners to make sure that workers are safe.

Those who were injured in an industrial worker accident may be very interested in the part that OSHA plays in the investigation process, and they need to look into their own legal rights while this investigation is going on.

Source: Businessweek, "OSHA Will Put Workplace Safety Data Online as 'Nudge' to Employers" Josh Eidelson, Sep. 18, 2014

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