According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), several employees die each month from injuries or illnesses related to their work. Many others are hospitalized, sometimes with injuries or illnesses that will persist for a lifetime.
While these devastating injuries are very infrequent in the educational environment, it is still important that districts understand and abide by all reporting requirements. All employers in Washington must report to the L&I Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH):
- Any potential or actual worker deaths and every in-patient hospitalization incident within eight (8) hours of learning about it; or
- A non-hospitalized amputation or loss of an eye (organ) of any employee within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident.
How to Report
To report a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye(s):
- Call 1-8001-423-7233 (1-800-BESAFE) and press ‘1’; or
- Call or visit an L&I office to report to L&I DOSH staff.
Be Prepared to Report
When reporting a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye(s) you must provide:
- Your contact name and phone number.
- The name of the establishment/business.
- The location/address of the work-related incident.
- The date and time of the incident.
- How many employees suffered a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, and their name(s).
- A brief description of the work-related incident.
Additional steps you must follow:
- Employers must not move any equipment (for example, machinery, tools, or personal protective equipment) involved in a work-related incident that results in an employee fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, until a representative of the Department of Labor & Industries investigates.
- You can move equipment, if necessary, to: remove any victims or prevent further incidents and injuries.
L&I provides additional resources for employers here. While this is a sobering topic, it is a vivid reminder of the value of safety in the workplace.