When to report a job-related accident

On behalf of Gary Nelson at Law Office of Gary C. Nelson

On-the-job accidents that meet certain criteria must be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

People who work in Modesto should be able to trust in the safety of the environments they work in. Employers are required by law to abide by specific safety practices and to educate their workers about these. Being injured at work can have a serious impact on employees and their families including the loss of income and out-of-pocket medical expenses. The emotional toll that a workplace accident can take should also never be underestimated.

California employers are required to follow the guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for workplace safety. Additionally, they must follow OSHA's guidelines for what should be done in the event that a job-related accident does happen.

What are employers supposed to do when a jobsite accident happens?

In addition to documenting the accident details and facilitating appropriate medical attention as needed, OSHA requires that certain accidents be reported to them. The rules about which accidents must be reported have recently changed.

Under the new rules, the following types of accidents require reporting to OSHA:

  • Those in which at least one fatality resulted.
  • Those in which admittance to a hospital was required for at least one worker.
  • Those in which at least one worker experienced the loss of one or two eyes.
  • Those in which at least one worker experienced the loss of a foot, leg, hand, arm or combination thereof.

Prior to the rule change, employers needed only to report those incidents that involved three or more workers.

There are also rules stipulating the timeline in which reports must be made. Those accidents involving amputations or loss of limbs or eyes are to be reported no more than 24 hours after they occur. Those accidents that result in death must be reported no more than eight hours after they occur.

How many people die in job accidents each year?

Every life is precious making even one fatality from a job accident one too many. Data from the 2013 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries notes that over 3,900 people lost their lives in private sector workplace accidents. When accidents from other sectors are added, the total number of fatalities that year exceeds 4,400. That equates to 3.2 out of every 100,000 people employed on a full-time basis.

Protecting your rights

If you are involved in an accident on the job in California , it is important to get the compensation you need. This can include workers' compensation and more. Contacting an attorney in these situations is recommended.

Keywords: workers' compensation, job, accident, injury