The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Fatalities and Multiple Hospitalizations

Reference Number: MTAS-1494
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: September 16, 2016

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Within eight hours after the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees as the result of a work-related incident, you must orally report the fatality/multiple hospitalization by telephone or in person to the area office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, that is nearest the site of the incident. Employers also may use the OSHA toll-free central telephone number, 1-800-321-6742 (1-800-321-OSHA). 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(a). If the area office is closed, employers may not leave a message on OSHA’s answering machine, fax the area office, or send an e-mail, but must call the toll-free number for the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA office. 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(b)(1).

Under the TOSHA regulation (088-1-3-.05), you must orally report the fatality/multiple hospitalization by telephone or in person to the Area Office of TOSHA, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, that is nearest to the site of the incident. You may also use the TOSHA toll-free central telephone number, 1-800-249-8510.

In reporting a fatality or multiple hospitalizations, you must give OSHA the following information: 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(b)(2)

  • Establishment name;
  • Location of the incident;
  • Time of the incident;
  • Number of fatalities or hospitalized employees;
  • Names of any injured employees;
  • A contact person for you and his/her phone number; and
  • A brief description of the incident.

If you do not learn about a reportable incident right away, you must make the report within eight hours of the time the incident is reported. If the report is not made within 30 days of the incident, you do not have to report the fatality or hospitalization.

As with other rules, there are exceptions. Employers do not have to report all incidents involving fatalities and multiple hospitalizations resulting from a motor vehicle accident. If the motor vehicle accident occurs on a public street or highway and does not occur in a construction work zone, the incident does not have to be reported to OSHA. The injuries, however, must be recorded on the OSHA injury and illness record, if you are required to keep such a record (death, loss of days, restricted duties, transfer, etc.). 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(b)(3). The same rules apply to incidents involving commercial airplane, train, subway or bus accidents. 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(b)(4).

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