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New procedures signal OSHA crack down on unreported injuries

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

On March 4, 2016, the Occu­pational Safety and Health Administration issued new procedures for enforcing revised injury and illness reporting requirements in 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39. Many of the 2014 interim procedures remain unchanged, but now employers will face a minimum penalty of $5,000 for failing to report.

The new procedures also include a so-called “safe harbor” provision that OSHA claims will prevent the agency from using root cause reports that employers submit as the basis for citations. However, the protection in the “safe harbor” is a bit illusory.

Higher penalties

Under the new guidelines, the minimum penalty for failing to report a qualifying workplace injury has been increased to $5,000. The starting penalty under the previous guidelines was $1,000. In special circumstances, OSHA area directors will have the leeway to increase the $5,000 penalty to $7,000 to achieve the “necessary deterrent effect” of a serious ...(register to read more)

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