The New Year brought along a new OSHA recordkeeping rule. As of January 1, employers must report all work-related fatalities, inpatient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within a set time frame. But did you realize that not everyone is included in this recordkeeping rule? Some types of employers and industries are partially exempt to the rule. This means that they are not required by federal law to report the newly mandated illness and injury incidents along with the majority of the group. Of course, there are exceptions for those who are living in states with their own version of OSHA. Determine if your job or industry requires reporting under the latest mandates by OSHA for fatalities, hospitalizations, and physical limb losses:
Any employer who employs fewer than 11 employees in a calendar year does not have to maintain records for illnesses or injuries via OSHA. This also applies to the new recordkeeping rule. Keep in mind that this headcount applies to the entire company, including the employer.
Employers who operate businesses that are considered low-hazard are partially exempt from the recordkeeping update. What is a low-hazard industry? Common examples of industries that have been considered as low-hazard since 1982 include:
- Service industry
- Retail trade
- Real estate
Note that for the service industry, the rules are more complex. If a company has maintained a rate of lost work days in the last three years that is lower than 75% of the rest of the service industry, then they have the right to not report illnesses and injuries to OSHA. However, if a business in the service industry is experiencing a high rate of accidents and illnesses they, too, are considered high-hazard and are required to report according to all OSHA recordkeeping requirements.
According to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), there are new industries that are added to the low-hazard group as of 2015. Here are a few of the newly instated, partially exempt industries:
- Data processing, hosting, and related services
- Agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers, and other public figures
- Wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite)
- Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
- Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage
- Electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance
- Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers
Presumably, workers who belong to these industries are less likely to run the risk of a job hazard worse than paper cuts and stressful situations. You can see how the new NAICS reflects the modernized workplace in which computerized workplaces rule the roost. For a more complete list of NAICS-approved industries that are partially exempt from recordkeeping rules, check this OSHA Fact Sheet.
State-Mandated Recordkeeping Rules
Keep in mind that as of January 1, 2015, states that have their own version of OSHA may also require those working in low-hazard industries to comply with new recordkeeping requirements. Check with your home state to determine if your company meets these requirements—even if you are considered low-hazard via federally organized OSHA.