Frequently Asked Questions – Proposed Revisions to OSHA's Injury and Illness
Reporting and Recording Requirements
Note: This is a proposed rule that seeks to make changes to the reporting and recording requirements. At this stage, OSHA is accepting comments on these proposed revisions. The next stage in this rulemaking process will be for OSHA to carefully review all comments before promulgating a final rule.
- Why is OSHA proposing to move from the Standard Industrial Classification system to the North American Industry Classification System?
OSHA is converting to NAICS because NAICS is currently the standard system used by Federal statistical agencies to classify businesses for collecting, analyzing and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. economy. OSHA announced in the 2001 recordkeeping final rule that it intended to convert from SIC codes to NAICS codes. The agency was unable to convert in 2001 because statistical agencies had not yet fully converted to the new system. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised concerns about OSHA continuing use of SIC codes in its report, Enhancing OSHA's Records Audit Process Could Improve Accuracy of Worker Injury and Illness Data. In response to the GAO's concerns, OSHA agreed to move forward on this rulemaking to update the industry coverage of the recordkeeping rule from SIC to NAICS.
In making the transition from SIC to NAICS, OSHA also used more up-to-date injury and illness data to determine which establishments would be required to keep records.
- Will there be any major changes by moving to the new classification system?
Most establishments and industries will be unaffected by the proposed change. Due to classification changes and use of updated injury/illness rates, some establishments would be newly required to keep records and some establishments would be newly partially exempt under the proposed rule. These are identified in Tables III-1 and III-2 (see Pages 36421-36422) in the economic analysis accompanying the proposed rule.
- Which employers are currently partially exempt from keeping injury and illness records?
Partially exempt employers are those with 10 or fewer workers and those whose establishments are in certain lower-hazard industry classifications. The 10 or fewer employee exemption is not affected by this proposal. A full list of the current partially exempt industries is available at 29 CFR 1904 Subpart B, Appendix A. The proposed list of partially exempt employers is available on Page 36422 in the Federal Register notice.
- What does it mean for employers to be partially exempt?
Partially exempt employers do not have to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless the government asks them. These employers are only partially exempt because they still may be required by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to keep records to participate in BLS' annual survey to collect statistics on workplace injuries and illnesses for all industries.
- In addition to the change from SIC to NAICS for recordkeeping requirements, this proposal also contains changes to OSHA's reporting requirements. I have a business that is currently partially exempt from recordkeeping. How will I know if I have to report in-patient hospitalizations and amputations to OSHA?
All businesses would be required to report work-related in-patient hospitalizations and amputations to OSHA.
- What are the major changes proposed for reporting injuries and illnesses?
There would be two major changes to OSHA's reporting requirements under the proposed rule. One change would require employers to report to OSHA, within eight hours, all work-related in-patient hospitalizations. Currently, employers are required to report only incidents in which three or more workers are hospitalized. The second change would require employers to report to OSHA, within 24 hours, all work-related amputations.
- What is an in-patient hospitalization? What qualifies as an amputation?
An in-patient hospitalization occurs when a person is admitted to a hospital or clinic for at least one overnight stay. Outpatient treatment generally refers to patients who are seen by a physician or other licensed health care professional for injuries such as minor cuts or broken bones, and who leave the hospital the same day.
Amputations include loss of a limb or other external body part, including a fingertip. For an injury to be classified as an amputation, bone must be lost.
- What are the benefits of requiring employers to report all in-patient hospitalizations and amputations?
The proposed rule will help OSHA target its enforcement resources and other activities to establishments with the most serious hazards.
- What are the costs to businesses for implementing these changes?
The proposed changes to the existing recording and reporting requirements are minimal and are expected to cost between $50 and $100 per affected establishment. Businesses can report to OSHA using our 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) number or by calling the area or regional offices.
- When will I have to start reporting?
This is a proposed rule that seeks to make changes to the reporting and recording requirements. At this stage, OSHA is accepting comments on these proposed revisions. A determination on when employers are required to implement the revisions will be made when OSHA issues a final rule.