A reminder from the Department of Labor: as of New Year’s Day employers have new reporting requirements to follow when there is a workplace injury.

A rule adopted by the the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, effective on Jan. 1, requires businesses to report work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or eye loss within 24 hours. OSHA's past regulations required employers to report only work-related deaths and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations, or eye loss was not required. Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported.

All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA's new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a Web portal for employers to report incidents electronically, in addition to the phone reporting options.

In addition to new reporting requirements, OSHA also updated the list of industries that, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records. The previous list of exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification system; the new rule uses the North American Industry Classification System to classify establishments by industry. The new rule maintains the exemption for any employer with 10 or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.