Monday, September 22, 2014

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) reminds employers of their obligation to report serious accidents or fatalities. The notification allows the agency to investigate the working conditions that may have caused death or harm.

Under Oregon OSHA's rule [OAR 437-001-0700(21)], employers must report a fatality within eight hours and report the overnight hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours. The citation carries a minimum $250 penalty and can go up to $7,000.

"Employers are required by law to report serious incidents so we can identify risks that may endanger other workers," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "Our goal is to ensure workers go home safely every day."

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, cited 36 companies in 2012 for failure to report violations. That's down from the 66 citations issued in 2009 but reporting remains a concern.

Under the Oregon rule, reporting an accident to a workers' compensation carrier isn't adequate and may still result in a failure to report citation. In 2012, some of the accidents Oregon OSHA investigated that weren't reported include a severe electrical burn to a worker's arm, face, and neck; a fall from a roof; and amputated fingers from contact with a table saw.

To report an accident or fatality, call Oregon OSHA 24 hours a day at 1-800-922-2689 (toll-free). Leaving a message to make the report is sufficient under the rule.

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