Fed OSHA changes rules for serious injuries, California says who cares

Fed OSHA changes rules for serious injuries, California says who cares

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This is a follow up post to No Changes for California OSHA Log 300

The Fed’s are at it again. Looking for ways to make the workplace safer, but the reality is that national incident rates have been dropping since 2002.  An indication that technology, regulations, training and risk management educational programs are working.  So, why does Fed OSHA want organizations to report more and more minor injuries to them?  The answer lies in what my former criminology professor explained 20 years ago.  We seek to know where we stand – they are bad, we are good.  Therefore we start to classify more and more minor crimes or in this case, injuries.

No change to serious injury definition in California

Federal OSHA updated (September 11th – see blog post here) the list of exempt industries and which serious injuries must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours. California, as of today, has not adopted these new regulations, but will by March 11th, 2015. Many risk managers have expressed concern over what is considered a serious injuries in the eyes of Federal OSHA, fortunately, there is no need to be concerned. California OSHA defined serious injuries six years ago with the passage of AB2774 by adding the definition to Labor Code Section 6432.  CalOSHA has been parlaying this definition into their Title 8, Section 342 and 330(h) for the past six years.  Meaning that Federal OSHA is simply catching up to what we are doing here in California.

 (e) "Serious physical harm," as used in this part, means any
injury or illness, specific or cumulative, occurring in the place of
employment or in connection with any employment, that results in any
of the following:
   (1) Inpatient hospitalization for purposes other than medical
observation.
   (2) The loss of any member of the body.
   (3) Any serious degree of permanent disfigurement.
   (4) Impairment sufficient to cause a part of the body or the
function of an organ to become permanently and significantly reduced
in efficiency on or off the job, including, but not limited to,
depending on the severity, second-degree or worse burns, crushing
injuries including internal injuries even though skin surface may be
intact, respiratory illnesses, or broken bones.

My prediction, no change to exempt status in California for schools

Where risk managers should be concerned is with the partial exemption from keeping OSHA Log 300’s and posting summary logs on February 1st.  Again, California has not adopted the Fed’s stance on this as of yet, so you get a pass this year if you are partially exempt.  And based on Federal OSHA’s adoption of the new NAIS codes, there is good news for educational agencies, child care facilities, and colleges & universities, you are still exempt under the new regulations and my guess is that California won’t revoke your exemption.

 

 

 

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