New OSHA regulations require employers to report amputation injuries

OSHA expanded reporting requirements in an attempt to increase the safety of workers throughout the country, including here in Ohio.

OSHA recently expanded its reporting requirements. An article in Bloomberg Businessweek reported on the changes, noting that the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health stated that the rule was made with the intention of saving lives. The secretary explained that the updates were more than just paperwork. Instead, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) new rule aims to increase safety by reducing the risk of future accidents and eliminating dangerous workplace hazards that lead to amputation injuries.

What is OSHA's new rule?

In the past, employers were only required to notify OSHA when an employee was killed or if an accident occurred that led to the hospitalization of three workers. The current rule has been debated for three years, and a final version was passed into law and is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2015. The new rule expands this requirement to include any accidents that result in the loss of an eye or amputation.

The agency defines an amputation as any "traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part." This includes fingertip amputations both with and without bone loss as well as medical amputation that result from irreparable damage and amputations that were reattached.

What should a worker injured on-the-job in Ohio do?

Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) notes that any worker injured while on-the-job in South Carolina should immediately report the injuries to their employer and receive any necessary medical treatment. This is true regardless of the injury, be it an amputation, eye loss, broken bone or concussion. Workers are entitled to receive a wide range of medical treatment to help reduce the risk of a disability. Benefits often cover the cost of surgery, prosthetic devices, medical supplies, hospitalization and rehabilitation among other things.

Unfortunately, there are certain requirements that must be followed to receive workers' compensation benefits. Those receiving medical care, for example, may have to go to a medical professional that is chosen by the employer or the workers' compensation insurance representative.

This is just one of the many issues that can arise when attempting to receive workers' compensation benefits. As a result, those who are injured while working are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced Cleveland workers' compensation lawyer. Whether filing for an initial claim of benefits or working to appeal a denial, this legal professional will advocate for your rights, working to help better ensure you receive the full benefits you deserve.

Keywords: workers' compensation