- Standard Number:
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
May 29, 1981
MEMORANDUM FOR: JAMES W. LAKE, ACTING REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR THRU: JOHN B. MILES, JR., DIRECTOR OFFICE OF FIELD COORDINATION FROM: BRUCE HILLENBRAND, ACTING DIRECTOR FEDERAL COMPLIANCE AND STATE PROGRAMS SUBJECT: Interpretation of 29 CFR 1904.8 (Reporting of Fatality or Multiple Hospitalization Accidents)
This is in response to Ronald J. McCann's memorandum of March 5, 1981, to John B. Miles (copy enclosed).
An occupational disease or illness that results in a fatality, or that involves the hospitalization of five or more employees, is reportable to OSHA within 48 hours if it can be traced to a specific event that has occurred at a place of employment. Thus, a short-term exposure to a toxic or hazardous substance that might occur from a spill or leak, a breakdown of ventilation equipment, or the failure to wear a respirator in an emergency situation, that causes an occupational illness or disease, is an accident that must be reported if a fatality or other catastrophe has taken place.
Example: An outbreak of Brucellosis among workers at a slaughter house, in which 5 employees were hospitalized for treatment for the disease, was reportable under 29 CFR 1904.8. In this case, the disease spread to workers a week or two after slaughtering cattle from a single shipment of infected livestock.
A fatality resulting from an occupational disease contracted through a long-term exposure must be reported on the OSHA-200, but is not in the classification requiring the employer to inform OSHA within 48 hours.
In addition to the reporting requirements under this regulation, paragraph (f)(2) in each of the 13 carcinogen standards (29 CFR 1910.1003, 1910.1004, and 1910.1006- .1016) requires the reporting of incidents where there is release of a carcinogen in a work area. Such reports must be made to the nearest OSHA Area Director within 24 hours and include information on...
(Fot the Last Portion of the Text, see printed copy)