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Reporting Serious Injuries and Fatalities to OSHA

OSHA’s Serious Injuries & Fatalities (SIF) Reporting Requirements

OSHA has specific incident reporting requirements that are designed to ensure that workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities are promptly reported and investigated. The specific requirements may vary depending on the industry and the number of employees, but generally include the following:

  • Work-place related fatality must be reported within 8 hours of the incident.

  • Serious injuries resulting in the hospitalization of one or more employees, an amputation, or the loss of an eye must be reported within 24 hours.

  • Work-related injuries and illnesses.

OSHA's recordkeeping requirements mandate that employers maintain a log (OSHA Form 300) of these incidents, along with a (OSHA Form 301) injury supplement for each log entry and post an annual summary on (OSHA Form 300A).

SIF Correct Handling of a Workplace Incident

Following the required notification, OSHA will prioritize an onsite investigation, inspection, and possible enforcement actions. The findings of the investigation are used to determine the cause of the incident, identify any violations of workplace safety regulations, and recommend corrective actions to prevent similar incidents in the future. If violations are found, OSHA may issue citations and penalties to the employer based on the severity and nature of the violations.

Considering this, it’s important that company leaders, supervisors and employees promptly and correctly handle an incident to ensure employees’ well-being, notify the appropriate authorities, and preserve the scene and record specific details of the incident to comply with legal requirements.

  1. Ensure immediate medical attention: The injured employee's health and well-being should be the top priority. If the injury is severe or life-threatening, call emergency services right away. For less severe injuries, provide first aid and arrange for the injured employee to receive medical attention promptly.

  2. Secure the area and provide safety: Take immediate steps to secure the area and eliminate further danger. This may involve shutting down equipment, evacuating the area, or providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees.

  3. Report the incident: As mentioned earlier, certain workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities must be reported to OSHA. Even if the injury does not meet the criteria for OSHA reporting, it is still important to document the incident internally for recordkeeping purposes. Notify the appropriate personnel, such as supervisors, managers, or the HR department, about the injury and provide them with all relevant details.

  4. Document the incident: Record the details of the incident accurately and comprehensively. Include information such as the date, time, location, nature of the injury, names of involved parties, witnesses, and a description of what happened. This documentation will be useful for future investigations, insurance claims, and compliance purposes.

  5. Investigate the incident: The site should be secured to preserve evidence collection for investigative work. Conduct a thorough investigation to determine the root causes of the injury. Identify any contributing factors, such as equipment malfunctions, procedural failures, or unsafe work practices. This investigation will help in implementing corrective actions to prevent similar incidents in the future.

  6. Implement corrective actions: Based on the findings of the investigation, take appropriate steps to prevent future injuries. This may involve updating safety protocols, providing additional training, repairing, or replacing equipment, or making necessary modifications to the work environment. Ensure that employees are aware of any changes or improvements implemented.

Safework Solutions’ comprehensive software assists safety managers in documenting each of these processes in detail.

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