Starting with Jan. 1 this year, many collision repair shops (and most other businesses) will be under new Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules. There’s a lot of potential for injury in auto repair and maintenance, and it’s important to pay attention to your responsibilities as an employer.
There are two major changes:
Who must keep records on a regular basis: It’s now based on the North American Industry Classification System and work-related injury or sickness information from 2007-2009. However, any business with 10 or fewer employees is still exempt from this record rule.
What must be reported to OSHA: In the past, employers only had to tell OSHA if there was a work-related death or an incident that sent at least three employees to the hospital. Now, many more injuries must be reported. OSHA wants to know all work-related hospitalizations (inpatient), amputations, or eye losses. This rule applies to everyone.
Deaths must be reported within 8 hours of the employer learning about it, and OSHA must hear about all the injuries or illnesses described above within 24 hours.
“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a September statement. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”
To report an incident, call the 24-hour 1-800-321-OSHA or your local office during business hours. Find your nearest office here. OSHA also expects to launch an online reporting service this month.
The rules took effect Jan. 1 for all federal plans. OSHA said in September that not all the 22 private-sector state and territory OSHA plans might be ready for the new rules by that date, and employers in one of the state plans should contact their local OSHA for more details on these rules’ start date in their area.