Event Archive

OSHA's Final Rule

Addressing and properly recording workplace injury and illness is a reality for HR professionals and employers. While OSHA’s new Final Rule intends to improve safety for workers, it can also complicate injury and illness reporting for businesses.

Contact Info

INTOUCH INSURANCE SERVICES

Muhannad Malki, Vice President

malkim@intouchis.com

16461 Sherman Way, Suite 350
Lake Balboa, California 91406
818.464.4444 ext. 217

NOVATIME TECHNOLOGY, INC.

Kyle Glave, Enterprise Sales

kyle.glave@novatime.com

1440 Bridgegate Dr., Suite 300
Diamond Bar, California 91765
(909) 895-8100 ext. 152

Questions & Answers:

Q1

I have read that in the final rule, we will no longer be able to require employee to immediately report WC incidents or injuries. It would be that the employee feels is reasonable but no guidance as to what constitutes REASONABLE.

A1

Work Comp carriers have their own requirements on when they want claims filed and this may vary by state. California carriers, for example, want claims reported within 24 hours, even though many are not. Guidance is sparse at this point. Communication between the employer and employee is critical and plays a very important role in this process. It is incumbent on the employer to make sure employees are made aware of their rights as well as their obligations.

Q2

Also, another question. We have received information about not being able to require automatic drug screens for WC incidents or injuries, there must be reasonable suspicion.

A2

What they are trying to say is that you have to have evidence that they were actually impaired due to the drugs and alcohol in their system. A blanket post-accident screening won’t give you an accurate picture of if they were actually impaired at the time of the accident. Evidence of drugs or alcohol in the test is not in itself an indication that the employee was actually impaired.

Q3

What is the best way for employers to keep records of Report Only incidents? No injury?

A3

You have to do that internally, best to have a form for any type of incidence that may occur. NOVAtime’s system can help track this as well.

Q4

Can we use an employee's id number instead of their first/last names on the OSHA

A4

Currently no. However, how it will look online is to be determined at this moment.

Q5

One of my employees is always late, and walks really fast or run in the office. I wrote him up for running in the office. Am I still liable if he falls?

A5

Yes. You cannot deny them a claim. Work Comp is no fault insurance.

Q6

What is considered unacceptable with respect to late filling?

A6

It depends on the specific filling requirements for each business, based on size and risk. Once we have more clarity on the timeline, that information will be disseminated.

Q7

Just to confirm, we have a softball league and a basketball league for our employees, any injuries from these activities are not considered as "work-related"

A7

Voluntary activities are an exception and not reportable.

Q8

In regards to company cars, if a company assigns a car and the EE drives it for personal use and gets in an accident during off hours does the company still file as a WC?

A8

Not in my view. If they are on their personal time, the employer should not be responsible.

Q9

Do you have to create an account for each site?

A9

Not clear at the moment, OSHA requires filing per establishment (as opposed to per business), but it is not clear if these establishments will require new accounts.

Q10

On the anti-retaliation--were you suggesting that all employees acknowledge that they are aware of the Final Rule provision by signing something?

A10

We don’t know how they want us to disseminate this information, discuss with your labor attorney what would be best.

Q11

Is there information on where municipalities fall within the reporting requirements? Is there any difference between municipality reporting requirements and private industry?

A11

OSHA is Federal and encompasses all employers/employees, exempt for certain governmental entities. The exact answer depends on what state you are located in as municipalities may be exempt from Federal OSHA, but may fall under state OSHA.

Q12

I have employees fill out a refusal of medical care when they do not want to go to the doctor. Is that ok?

A12

The form by itself will not prevent a claim from happening down the line. Signing such form is not equivalent to signing their rights away.

Q13

Will OSHA allow the data entry for reportable injury/illness as they occur and then a 'submission' at the appropriate time?

A13

We do not know at the moment. It will depend on how the final site will look like. Currently, as the forms are primarily manual, this is possible.

Q14

Is there anything unique with California with these standards?

A14

No, Cal OSHA and OSHA are separate entities. The Final Rule from OSHA is a federal regulation.