Thursday, September 29, 2011

Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements Proposed Rule

OSHA's current regulation at Section 1904.2 partially exempts certain lower-hazard industries classified in Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 52 through 89 from injury and illness recordkeeping requirements. Lower hazard industries are those industries with an average Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) rate at or below 75 percent of the national average DART rate. The DART rate represents the total non-fatal injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, and/or job transfer per 100 full-time employees for a given period of time (usually 1 year). The current list of partially exempt industries, which is included in Appendix A to Subpart B, is based on injury and illness data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 1997, 1998 and 1999.

OSHA is proposing to revise the list of partially exempt industries in Appendix A using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The revised list in proposed Appendix A is based on DART rates compiled by BLS for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Industries listed in proposed Appendix A would still be required to keep records if requested to do so by BLS in connection with its Annual Survey (29 CFR 1904.42), or by OSHA in connection with its Data Initiative (29 CFR 1904.41).

OSHA is also proposing to revise Section 1904.39, which currently requires an employer to report to OSHA, within eight hours, all work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. The proposed rule would require an employer to report to OSHA, within eight hours, all work-related fatalities and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations; and within 24 hours, all work-related amputations.

This regulation was developed in accordance with the principles of Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563. Executive Order 12866 requires that OSHA estimate the benefits, costs, and net benefits of proposed regulations. The Agency estimates the regulation will cost approximately $8.5 million, on an annualized basis. As discussed elsewhere in this preamble, the Agency believes the annual benefits, while unquantified, are significantly in excess of the annual costs.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010

WASHINGTON – Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released today show little change in the number of workplace fatalities in 2010 compared with 2009. Last year, 4,547 workers died from work-related injuries, down from a final count of 4,551 fatal work injuries in 2009. In response, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement:

"No worker should have to sacrifice his or her life to earn a living.

"An average 12 workers die on the job every day, and that reality continues to drive the work of the Labor Department. When the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, the National Safety Council estimated that 14,000 workers died each year on the job. Now, with a workforce that has doubled in size, the annual number of fatalities has dropped significantly. But it's not enough. We cannot relent from our enforcement of laws that keep our nation's workers safe. One worker killed or injured on the job is one too many.

"As our economy continues to strengthen and the workforce expands, we at the Department of Labor will remain resolute in our mission to ensure that safety is not sacrificed as America's workers provide for themselves and their families. My constant focus is 'good jobs for everyone,' and safety is an essential part of that equation."

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