Let's Talk First

Tips & Resources

Occupational Safety: When, How and Where to Report Incidents


When it comes to occupational safety and health, all employers in Hawaii have reporting requirements with which they must comply. Understanding when and to whom incidents need to be reported can be confusing, especially for smaller employers or employers with very limited or sporadic experience with work-related injuries or safety incidents. Here are answers to frequently asked questions on this topic to help guide Hawaii employers through the reporting process:

Work-Related Incidents to Be Reported

  • All Hawaii employers are required to notify OSHA or HIOSH (whoever has jurisdiction, most likely HIOSH) when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
  • A fatality must be reported within 8 hours.
  • An in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss must be reported within 24 hours.
  • Any property damage in excess of $25,000 must also be reported.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has jurisdiction, OSHA or HIOSH?
HIOSH administers Hawaii’s State Plan Program. This program has jurisdiction over most employment in the State in the private and public sectors, with some exceptions, such as domestic workers, U.S. Postal Service, and maritime activity, e.g. shipbuilding, marine terminals and longshoring. While OSHA has jurisdiction over all Federal employment and private sector workers working in maritime activities, HIOSH has jurisdiction over private sector employment on Federal lands, including military bases, with the exception of employment at any of the Hawaii National Parks.

Who is required to report incidents?
All employers under OSHA or HIOSH jurisdiction must report incidents. This includes employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records due to company size or industry.

If the area office is closed, may I report the incident by leaving a voicemail or sending an email?
OSHA - No, if the local area office is closed, you must report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye by calling 1-800-321-6742.
HIOSH – Incidents must be reported by calling (808) 586-9102 or in person at the HIOSH Office in Honolulu. If the HIOSH office is closed, leave a message on the answering machine speaking slowly and clearly. See attachment for information that must be provided.

How do OSHA and HIOSH define “in-patient hospitalization”?
OSHA and HIOSH define in-patient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment. Treatment in an emergency room only is not reportable.

How do they define “amputation”?
An amputation is the traumatic loss of all or part of a limb or other external body part. This includes fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. If and when there is a health care professional's diagnosis available, the employer should rely on that diagnosis.

Who should report a fatality or in-patient hospitalization of a temporary worker?
The employer that provides the day-to-day supervision of the worker must report to OSHA or HIOSH any work-related incident resulting in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.

What if the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye does not occur during or right after the work-related incident?
If a fatality occurs within 30 days of the work-related incident, or if an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident, the employer must still report the event to OSHA or HIOSH.

Under what circumstances am I not required to report an incident?
Employers do not have to report an event if it resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway (except in a construction work zone); occurred on a commercial or public transportation system, such as airplane or bus; or involved hospitalization for diagnostic testing or observation only.

Employers must also follow their insurance carrier’s claims reporting guidelines. Find First Insurance’s guidelines at https://www.ficoh.com/claims/.