And when was the last time you read the complete OSHA Recordkeeping Handbook from cover to cover? Um hm…...I thought so. It may sound daunting, but there are really some quite simple things to remember when you track OSHA incidents.
First, if you don’t have over 10 employees, you are not required to keep injury/illness records unless OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells you to do so in writing.
If you are required to keep the records, you must keep records of all work-related injuries or illnesses in the work environment that result in the following:
- Days away from work
- Transfers or restrictions
- Medical treatment that is more than simple first aid
- Medical diagnosis of a significant injury or illness
Also pay attention to pre-existing conditions - if work can be proven to aggravate a pre-existing condition, that also counts as an OSHA incident and government record keeping guidelines apply there, too.
Record work-related injuries and illnesses on:
- OSHA Form 300 - A log of work related injuries/illnesses within a given year. Get the information for Form 300 from your forms 301.
- OSHA Form 300A - A summary of work related injuries/illnesses reported on Form 300, to be completed by February 1.
- OSHA Form 301 - A detailed report of each incident, to be completed by the employer within 7 days of notification of the incident.
Keep these completed forms for 5 years, and be ready to produce paper copies if OSHA asks for them. You should also consider storing electronic records in a HR software application. And as always, also check with your state to make sure they don’t have any special requirements that differ from the Feds.
#1 Rule to remember - if you don’t keep OSHA records, you may be subject to significant penalties and fines.
It’s cheaper to be a record-keeper!!