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OSHA and Counting American Workers' Injuries and Fatal Accidents

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While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") is supposed to be the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, its coverage is actually much smaller than I had expected. There are about 9 million workplaces in the U.S., employing 130.3 million workers. More than 85%, or 111.5 million, are employed in private industry. OSHA’s injury and occupational illness record keeping rule applies to about 1.36 million worksites, or 18 percent of all U.S. private sector workplaces. At the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, we were curious as to how this cold be, when OSHA was THE Federal Agency supposedly looking out after American workers’ safety ?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that OSHA does not require employers with 10 or fewer employees, or those involved in many retail, financial, and service industries to follow these record keeping requirements. Businesses that are exempt from this OSHA rule include:

  • car dealers,
  • gas stations,
  • restaurants and bars,
  • retail stores,
  • hair salons and barber shops,
  • funeral parlors,
  • furniture repair shops,
  • child care centers, schools and colleges,
  • medical and dental labs and offices,
  • retail bakeries,
  • meat and fish markets, and
  • hardware stores.

A vast majority, 82 percent of private sector workplaces, are not required by OSHA to keep injury and illness records, according to Celeste Monforton, in Science Blogs. In tomorrow’s post we will look at OSHA’s impact on a workplace injury or fatality case in Virginia…