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Don’t Forget About OSHA Reporting Rules

osha logoThe Texas cotton Ginners’ Association has received several calls this year with questions about two Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting rules. Here is a quick recap of how each rule works.

First, there is the illness and injury reporting rule. Here are the basic situations you are required to report to OSHA:

1. Any fatality. Report within eight hours.

2. Any in-patient hospitalization. Report within 24 hours.

3. Any amputation. Report within 24 hours.

4. Any eye loss. Report within 24 hours.

The first and fourth requirements are pretty straightforward, but the other two can be a little tricky. An in-patient hospitalization is one where the employee is admitted overnight for treatment. If they are treated and released in one day or if they are admitted overnight for observation but not treated, the injury is not reportable. Be sure to call your association office if you have questions about an individual incident.

Amputations can also be tricky. Even the loss of a fingertip, if it is coded as an amputation by the treatment provider, would be reportable. This is one aspect of the rule that you must watch carefully.

How do you report? You can call your local OSHA office, the OSHA 24-hour hotline (800-321-6742) or use their online reporting system. For more information on the Illness and Injury reporting rule, go to the OSHA reporting page at https://www.osha.gov/report.html.

Enter OSHA 300A Data Online

The second rule involves the electronic submittal of the OSHA 300A data. This rule has been in effect for some time, and any gin that had 20 or more employees at any point during the year is required to report.

Basically, you have to enter the information from your OSHA 300A form into the OSHA online information portal. To access the portal and learn more about it, go to https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html.

The portal opens each year Jan. 1 and closes March 2. You must enter your data during this time period. Since your OSHA 300A form has to be completed and posted in your office on Feb. 1 each year, it is a good idea to go ahead and key your information into the online portal as soon as you finish your OSHA 300A. That should give you plenty of time to enter the data before the online portal closes.

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There is one portion of the 300A that gives some folks difficulty. When you calculate your average number of employees and the total hours worked by all employees, be sure to do this correctly. OSHA’s method of making this calculation is not the same as what many would do on their own. There is a worksheet included in the OSHA 300 and 300A instructions that will help you make the calculation correctly.

It is important to get this number right. If it is wrong, then your number of injuries per worker-hour could be off and cause OSHA to take a closer look at your operation.

The OSHA instructions for filling out the OSHA 300 and OSHA 300A can be found at https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/RKforms.html/.

Understanding the OSHA reporting rules is an important step in avoiding problems during and after the ginning season. If you have any questions about them or any other OSHA related matter, give your ginners’ association a call.

J. Kelley Green, TCGA director of technical services, contributed this article. Contact him at kelley@tcga.org.

The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Calls For Ginner Of The Year Nominations

Now is the time to send in your nomination for the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association Ginner of the Year. This is the highest honor a gin manager can receive by peers in the industry. Guidelines for the selection of Ginner of the Year include:

1. Service to customers by:

• Quality ginning.

• Ethical business standards.

• Other constructive activities.

2. Service to all branches of the cotton industry through support and leadership of constructive activities and programs.

3. Other contributions to the people of the community, county and state such as:

• Civic leadership.

• Philanthropic work.

If you know someone who deserves this prestigious honor, send us a letter describing his or her attributes. Supporting letters from other industry individuals and organizations are encouraged. Nomination letters need to be sent to the TCGA office by Dec. 31.

Mail the information to the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, Ginner of the Year, 211 W. Bagdad Ave., Round Rock, TX 78664-5803.

TCGA provided this information.