OSHA Publications and smartphones or tablets

OSHA publications accessible on smartphones and tablets; Safety and Health Information Bulletins available

If you use a smartphone or a tablet on the job, important worker safety and health information is a click away. Dozens of electronic publications can be downloaded at no cost from OSHA's Publications Web page.

Safety and Health Information Bulletins are also now accessible on OSHA's publications page. SHIBs help raise awareness of significant occupational safety and health issues concerning hazard recognition, evaluation and control in the workplace and at emergency response sites. The documents focus on various topics such as bloodborne pathogens, confined spaces, construction operations, and health and safety hazards to help employers and safety professionals provide a safe and healthful workplace for workers.

The costs of failing to protect workers on the job

A new report released by OSHA explores the substantial impact of workplace injuries and illnesses on income inequality Despite the decades-old legal requirement that employers provide workplaces free of serious hazards, every year, more than three million workers are seriously injured, and thousands more are killed on the job. The report states these injuries can force working families out of the middle class and into poverty, and prevents families of lower-wage workers from attaining greater economic opportunity. "For many, a workplace injury or illness means the end of the American dream, and the beginning of a nightmare," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Employers must do more to prevent these injuries from happening in the first place and insure that when they do, workers receive the benefits to which they are entitled."
Who bears the cost of worker injuries?

OSHA is asking workers who have been affected by the cost of a workplace injury to share their story. For more about this report (PDF*)

Trade News Release: final rule for handling retaliation complaints

Trade News Release Banner Image

March 6, 2015
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA announces final rule on procedures for handling retaliation
complaints under Sarbanes-Oxley Act

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today published a final rule finalizing procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints filed under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The SOX Act protects employees who report fraudulent activities and violations of Securities Exchange Commission rules that can harm investors in publicly traded companies.

"Silencing workers who try to do the right thing is unacceptable," said Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "This final rule safeguards investors by protecting whistleblowers who shine a light on illegal or fraudulent conduct that otherwise may go uncorrected."

SOX prohibits publicly-traded companies, nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations, and other covered persons from retaliating against an employee who provides information about conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates federal mail, wire, bank or securities fraud statutes, SEC rules, or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.

Workers can file a complaint with OSHA if they believe that their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under SOX. OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Programs Web page provides instructions on how to file a complaint and information on worker rights and protections.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of SOX and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, food safety and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

Clarification on new reporting requirements (1904.39)

December 16, 2014

Ms. B***
Holland, O

Dear Ms. B***:

Thank you for your recent letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the recordkeeping regulation contained in 29 CFR Part 1904 รข€“ Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. You ask for specific classification of the new reporting requirements contained under section 1904.39.

Question 1: Please provide the definition of an amputation.

Response: An amputation, for OSHA reporting purposes, is defined under section 1904.39(b)(11). "An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth."

Question 2: How do you distinguish between an amputation and an avulsion?

Response: If and when there is a health care professional's diagnosis available, the employer should rely on that diagnosis. If the diagnosis is avulsion, the event does not need to be reported. If the diagnosis is amputation, the event must be reported. If there is no available diagnosis by a health care professional, the employer should rely on the definition and examples of amputation included in the regulatory text of Section 1904.39(b)(11). Examples of avulsion that do not need to be reported include deglovings, scalpings, fingernail and toenail removal, eyelid removal, loss of a tooth, and severed ears. Remember, employers are required to report amputations to OSHA when they learn that the reportable event occurred. The employer must report the event when he or she has information that the injury is a work-related amputation. See, Section 1904.39(b)(8).

Question 3: If an employee loses the very tip of his finger, would this have to be reported to OSHA within 24 hours of the work-related event? What if the employee loses any part of the finger above the first joint?

Response: If the tip of the finger is amputated, the work-related event must be reported. An amputation does not require loss of bone.

Questions 4: Does loss of an eye include loss of sight?

Response: Loss of an eye is the physical removal of the eye, including enucleation and evisceration. Loss of sight without the removal of the eye is not reportable under the requirements of section 1904.39. A case involving loss of sight that results in the in-patient hospitalization of the worker within 24 hours of the work-related incident is reportable.

Question 5: If an employee has to have a glass eye after an event, would this be a reportable event?

Response: The reportability of the loss of an eye is not determined by the type of medical care received to treat the injury. The physical removal of the eye from the socket as a result of a work-related event is a reportable event.