New Jersey workers may have heard that on January 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration put in place new reporting requirements for severe injuries related to workplace accidents. The program requires that businesses report work-related eye-loss accidents, hospitalizations and amputations to OSHA within 24 hours.
According to OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor, the new program has been very successful. In addition to providing valuable information about how workplace accidents occur, the new system also gives businesses more control over addressing potential workplace hazards. In an effort to reduce the number of workplace inspections, OSHA is allowing businesses to do their own accident investigations and put in place new processes to prevent future injuries.
Based on information from employers, there were more than 7,600 work-related hospitalizations and over 2,600 amputations reported in the first year of the program. The majority of hospitalizations came from the manufacturing and construction industries, representing 26 percent and 19 percent of hospitalizations, respectively. The manufacturing industry also reported more than have of the total number of amputations.
There is a wide range of workplace injuries that someone can suffer on or as a result of their job. Along with severe injuries, like those resulting in the loss of a limb, people may also develop chronic conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers’ compensation exists to provide coverage for lost wages and medical bills resulting from workplace injuries, and a lawyer could explain how these benefits work. An attorney could also assist someone in applying for workers’ compensation.