Reporting workplace injuries for workers' comp and OSHA

Workers in Texas should be protected from injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job. State and federal agencies are in place to support and protect employees by enforcing employer compliance to safety regulations.

According to Chron.com, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration gathers information about specific types of workplace accidents. Although workers' compensation insurance companies also collect data on employee injuries, their uses of the statistics are different.

Workers' compensation is intended to cover employees' medical expenses related to their work-related injury or illness, as well as a portion of their lost wages. Data helps to ensure employees receive the necessary care and coverage. However, employers are required to record and report certain accidents to OSHA, in part, to allow them to assess the performance of their workplace safety programs.

The Texas Department of Insurance notes that companies employing 11 or more workers are bound to the OSHA recordkeeping regulations. Under certain circumstances, employers with fewer employees may also be subject to these rules. An injury or illness must be recorded if an employee misses a day or more of work. A situation also requires a record if the illness or injury causes any of the following:

  • Work transfer or restricted duties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Significant harm resulting in a diagnosis by a health care provider
  • Harm that requires treatment beyond basic first aid
  • Death

Although not all employers must report every work-related injury or illness, certain severe cases encompass every company covered by the OSH Act, and there is a time limit requirement, as well. An amputation, loss of an eye or in-patient hospitalization must be reported within 24 hours. If there is a work-related death, the employer has eight hours to report it to OSHA.

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