A Short Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

OSHA requires construction and manufacturing businesses, among others, to complete and regularly update paperwork related to workplace safety. Perhaps the best known of these is the OSHA 300 log, which records the details of injuries and illnesses that occur at your workplace.

Although it seems like just more paperwork, staying up to date and filling out the forms accurately is vital. Failing to complete the paperwork on time and accurately can mean huge fines and can hurt a company's compliance program.

OSHA inspectors aren’t shy about doling them out—and these are just the recordkeeping violations and do not include any workplace safety violations they find. For example, last year, OSHA fined one Iowa wind turbine manufacturer $155,000 for violations that included faulty recordkeeping.

What Are the OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Forms?

OSHA recordkeeping requirements include three forms: OSHA 300, OSHA 300a, and OSHA 301.

The OSHA Form 300 is the official log for documenting details of injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace. It includes three major sections:

  • Identifying the injury/illness (name, case number, job title)
  • Describing the injury (date of injury, where it occurred, description of injury/illness)
  • Classifying the injury using the checkboxes [result of the injury (e.g., missed work, hospitalization) and general type of injury/illness]

When the illness or injury is recorded on the 300 log, Form 301 must be filled out at the same time. Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report for each individual event, and it provides more space to describe the injury or illness as it occurred in context.

The 301 report is where the story is told of what happened, why, and what the effects were for the employee.

At the end of the year, Form 300A, which is a summary report of the log, must be completed. Form 300 is used to complete Form 300A by identifying:

  • Total number of deaths
  • Total number of cases with days away from work
  • Total number of cases with job transfer or restriction
  • Total number of other recordable cases
  • Total number of days away from work
  • Total number of days of job transfer or restriction
  • Total number of injuries, skin disorders, respiratory conditions, posionings, hearing losses, and other illnesses

This form is only a tally of the impacts of injuries and illnesses at an establishment. It doesn’t include any personal information about employees.

Read the full story here.

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