Employees in California have the right to work in safe environments and receive compensation if they become sick or injured. They must understand how state laws work in regard to reporting accidents. Since 2020, there are new guidelines for employees and their employers to report severe workplace injuries and illnesses.
Methods of reporting
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets federal regulations for how employers must report serious injuries and illnesses. These rules changed in January 2020 with the passing of two new state laws.
Assembly Bill 1804 defines a new rule for reporting a serious incident to OSHA by phone or email. Reporting by fax is not allowed. An online system for reporting is currently under development. Californian employers must report to an OSHA office as soon as possible and within eight hours of the incident. Not following the 1804 rule may lead to a $5,000 fine.
AB 1805 defines the definition of a serious injury and the types of work-related injuries to report. The serious injury or illness must take place in the workplace or during a work-related event. It must result in an inpatient hospitalization that does not include diagnostic testing. The definition includes any amputation, loss of an organ or limb or disfigurement.
The significance of reporting
If any serious injury occurs at work, the injured person must be treated immediately. In addition, the accident must be reported on time and according to state law guidelines. This reported information will be reviewed, analyzed and used to prevent as many future workplace accidents as possible.