What are the newest OSHA guidelines and how will they affect you?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was recently the subject of a lawsuit resulting in new regulations for the organization. Maintaining OSHA standards is required for the safety of your business or construction site. Understanding how the ruling will affect OSHA’s inspections is important to implementing the right safety plan. Here are a few things that the lawsuit has laid out for the industry.

  • Review recordkeeping for 6 Months.
    In 2011, the review committee ruled that OSHA could go back 5 years searching for any record keeping violations. However, the laws cited in the case regarding OSHA indicate that the administration can only go back 6 months.
  • Maintain reports for 5 years.
    OSHA upheld that companies are required to maintain their injury reports for five years. In the recent case, OSHA indicated that continuing violations meant they were never more than six months out from recognizing a record keeping error.
  • 7 days to report an injury.
    The court ruled that companies have seven days to report an injury to OSHA.  If they fail to make that report, OSHA will have six months after the date of the injury to penalize the organization.
  • Do not destroy injury reports.
    Companies are still required to maintain their injury records for five years. If they destroy injury reports any time before five years, they will have incurred a different violation.
  • OSHA ruled to have overstepped their bounds.
    While OSHA maintained that the company was continuously in violation of the regulations, the court ruled that OSHA overstepped their bounds by not citing the company for failure to maintain records for five years and instead penalizing them for failure to report injuries dating at least that far back.
  • Follow OSHA guidelines for smooth audits.
    OSHA will still be inspecting for violations in record keeping, but with this court ruling the inspectors might be looking for different things. Make sure to report any injuries well within the seven day time period and maintain the records for five years without fail. If you comply with OSHA regulations your company will be in the best position when audited by the administration.

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