The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be enforcing new reporting requirements for workplace accidents in January 2017. For those companies that miss the deadline for reporting a workplace accident involving an injury leading to hospitalization or a death, there will likely be a team on hand shortly to perform a surprise inspection.

The new requirement gives employers just eight hours to report an accident that claims a life or results in hospitalization, loss of an eye or an amputation. Employers have 24 hours to report other incidents.

Recently, OSHA sent inspectors out unannounced after DOM Construction, an Illinois builder, didn’t report an incident on time. A 54-year-old worker had fallen over 11 feet when he was installing a roof joist. When the inspectors got to the construction site in Chicago, they found another worker who was 40 feet in the air without the proper protection. Needless to say, the inspectors were not pleased.

The company was cited for one other-than-serious violation, two serious violations and one willful safety violation. The proposed fines are $40,000.

When making a report, the employer will need to supply the affected employees’ details, when and where the incident occurred and a brief description.

Safety is more than just a buzzword. Safety protocol needs to be followed in order to protect workers and others. There are many guidelines and regulations in place to protect those workers and hefty fines can be the financial cost.

If you are injured on the job, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney can be very helpful if that claim is denied and an appeal is needed.

Source: Business Management Daily, “OSHA cracking down with snap inspections,” June 23, 2016