Reporting workplace accidents in Colorado

Workers injured in on-the-job accidents should understand OSHA’s regulations about reporting these incidents.

Colorado employees in any industry or type of job can become the victims of on-the-job accidents. While these incidents can be more prevalent in some occupations that does not mean that other people are completely safe from such experiences. For this reason, all people who work in Colorado should understand some of the processes that should be followed after a job-related accident happens.

A look at Colorado's workplace fatalities

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries indicates that over 4,400 workers lost their lives in the United States in workplace accidents in 2013. That same year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 65 people died in fatal workplace accidents in Colorado.

The 65 deaths in Colorado spanned multiple occupation types as noted in the following statistics:

  • Three people in service occupations died in job-related accidents.
  • Seven deaths were recorded among workers in office or sales positions.
  • Nine people in arts, science, business or management jobs died in work accidents.
  • Natural resources, maintenance and construction accounted for 19 occupational deaths.
  • Material moving, transportation and production saw another 27 fatalities in on-the-job accidents.

This information illustrates the importance of all people knowing proper safety protocol before and after an accident occurs regardless of industry or occupation.

What accidents are required to be reported?

For some time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration only required incidents meeting certain criteria and involving three or more people to be reported. Now, however, new rules have been released that change those parameters. Any accident that involves even just one person must be reported.

For workplace accidents that result in an employee being hospitalized, undergoing surgery, losing an eye or experiencing an amputation, reporting must be completed within 24 hours. For workplace accidents that result in a fatality, reporting must be completed within eight hours.

How should accidents be reported?

Business Insurance provided information about how OSHA was looking to require online reporting for work accidents. Employers voiced concern about this due to the safety of personal information being submitted online. A compromise was reached that allows people to report job accidents online but without the requirement to do so and without any discouragement of doing so.

What should an employee do after an accident?

Anyone who is the victim of a job-related accident should pursue appropriate avenues for compensation. This can include workers' compensation and appropriate reporting of the accident will be important for this purpose. Talking to an attorney about these issues is also recommended.