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Jan 14, 2015

State and Federal OSHA Ring in 2015 Changes for ALL Businesses


Category: Employment

As of January 1, 2015, all employers, not just certain employers, will be subject to new reporting requirements.  As of that same date, there are also changes in recording certain accidents and illnesses by certain industries.  One source of assistance in this set of changes is our own Maine Department of Labor (“DOL”).

While there is still plenty of room for improvement, I must say that the Maine DOL is not only surprisingly transparent but also a top performer in customer service.  If you have ever attended one of their sessions for HR folks, you will know what I mean – you receive, among other things, the direct phone numbers and emails of everyone there in a management position.  So, with that in mind, I checked in with Maine SafetyWorks to see how Maine was responding to the new federal OSHA requirements.  Some of those requirements apply to recording, where the size and type of your business makes a difference.  The new reporting requirements apply to everyone; the fact that you have a smaller business or run an office place doesn’t make a difference.

On the issue of recording, OSHA has changed the lists of businesses required to maintain OSHA Recordkeeping forms based on their NAICS code. Specifically automobile dealers, certain real estate lessors, janitorial businesses and certain social service agencies will now be required to record and maintain OSHA injury and illness forms, assuming the business has 11 or more employees. Some businesses will now be exempt from maintaining the forms such as publishers, gasoline stations with convenience stores and corporate headquarters.

On the issue of reporting, there are new rules on reporting fatalities, amputations, loss of an eye, and inpatient hospitalizations – these rules apply to ALL businesses.  No business is exempt from this reporting requirement.  SafetyWorks! can provide your organization or business with an overview on these updates.  Call Steve Laundrie at 207-623-7903 if you have questions.  SafetyWorks will be offering free courses in 2015.  The next recordkeeping course is March 26 in Augusta.  Further information on the changes is available at https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/index.html.