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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

OSHA Expanded Fatality/Serious Injury Reporting Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently expanded requirements for reporting fatalities and serious injuries in the workplace. The revised rule—that went into effect on January 1—also includes updates to the list of industries partially exempt from workplace illness and injury record-keeping requirements.

When OSHA announced the new rule in 2014, Thomas E. Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, stated, “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

Reporting of Fatalities and Serious Injuries

Revisions to previous rules now require employers to notify OSHA of any work-related fatality within eight hours. They have 24 hours to report work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or accidents involving the loss of an eye. Previously, reporting requirements were limited to fatalities and hospitalizations of three or more employees. The report of single hospitalizations, amputations or eye-loss injuries was not required.

To ease employers’ administrative burden, OSHA has established three methods for reporting incidents. If one of your employees is killed, hospitalized or suffers an accident causing amputation or eye loss, you can report the event by telephone during normal business hours to your local OSHA office (find the location and number at www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html). You can also call the 24-hour OSHA hotline (at 1-800-321-OSHA) or submit your report online at www.osha.gov/report_online.

Work-Related Illness and Injury Record-keeping

Depending on the size of your company, or your industry, you may be exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements for work-related illnesses and injuries. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are always exempt from records maintenance rules. Employers on the new list of partially exempt industries are also not required to maintain workplace illness and injury records.

While the Standard Industrial Classification system was the basis for the old list of exemptions, OSHA created the new list using the North American Industry Classification System and updated injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Partially exempt industries include gasoline stations, florists, most retail stores, most publishers and broadcasters, banks, insurance carriers, real estate, legal services, business support services, schools, restaurants and other low-risk industries as determined by OHSA. You can find a complete list at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/ppt1/RK1exempttable.html.

All employers, including those partially exempt due to company size or industry classification, must still report any workplace incident that results in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye—even if they’re not required to maintain records of illnesses and injuries.

If you’d like more information on the new OSHA reporting and record-keeping rule, you can find additional details at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014. For further insight into how these changes may impact your business, or assistance with updating your workplace safety program, give me a call.