Do employers have seven days to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of a work-related incident that has resulted in the death of an employee?
No. All employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 are required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee from a work-related incident. This requirement also applies to any work-related incident resulting in the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees. Employers must provide this notice by telephone or in person at the OSHA Area Office nearest to the site of the incident. Employers may also notify OSHA by using the toll-free central telephone number, 1-800-321-OSHA. For each incident, an employer must provide OSHA with the name of the establishment; the location of the incident; the time of the incident; the number of fatalities or hospitalized employees; the necessary contact information; and a brief description of the incident.
In addition to notifying OSHA, employers in some states may have additional notification requirements following the death of an employee. For example, in Florida, an employer must report the fatality by telephone or telegraph within twenty-four hours to the Department of Financial Services. In Minnesota, employers have forty-eight hours to report a death or serious injury that occurred during the course of employment to the state commissioner. Given such variations in reporting requirements, employers should consult with a licensed professional in their jurisdiction to determine all applicable reporting requirements before the need ever arises.