How common are workplace injuries in the United States? What OSHA injury reporting requirements are employers and workers required to follow? It's estimated that every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. That works out to be roughly 12,600 per day, or 4.6 million per year. When workers are injured or killed on the job, they are legally obligated to adhere to OSHA injury reporting requirements. When they do not, they negligently discharge their duties and foster hazardous workplace conditions.
Current Fatality Data
5,147 workers suffered fatalities in 2017, which was a slight decrease from the 5,190 deaths recorded in 2016. This is about 14 a day and represents a rate of roughly 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers in America. Of these, 4,674 worked in private industry including 971 construction workers, 840 sales, delivery, or heavy truck drivers, 258 farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers, and 244 grounds maintenance personnel.
OSHA Injury Reporting Requirements
OSHA requires employers to report fatalities within 8 hours of the fatal event. Of course, many workers don't pass away immediately after the injury is suffered. In such cases, employers are required to report any death that occurs within 30 days of a potentially fatal work-related accident.
Any injury that requires hospitalization is required to be reported within 24 hours. These include injuries that require amputation, eye loss, or other similar injuries. However, this does not include injuries that are treated in emergency rooms only. Of injuries suffered by American workers, 33.5% are overexertion injuries, 26% are caused by contact with objects, and 25.8% involve slips, trips, and falls.
It is not required to report all injuries. In order for it to meet OSHA's threshold, the injury must cause days away from work, result in restricted work, require medical care greater than First Aid, or cause loss of consciousness.
Reporting Saves Lives
OSHA injury reporting creates statistics that can be tracked over time. This helps the agency identify problem areas and recommend regulations to improve worker safety. Over the past few decades, increased monitoring and enforcement of OSHA regulations has resulted in significant declines in the rates of injuries to individuals working in private manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and many other industries.
Stringent reporting requirements are working and the data shows that. In 1970, the United States had a worker fatality rate of 38 per day. In 1972, the country had a injury/illness rate of 10.9 per 100 workers. Since then, the fatality rate has declined to 14 per day, and the injury rate to 2.8 per 100 workers.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm that represents clients in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following work-related accidents. Contact us today to learn more about OSHA reporting requirements and the rights workers have to recover compensation for their work-related injuries.