A Refresher on OSHA's Recordkeeping Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to record or report work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses. However, a company that has ten employees or less or is considered a low hazard industry does not have to do so. For example, Assurance is exempt from OSHA recordkeeping because our hazard level is 75% below the national average.
OSHA has very clear rules on what types of cases are considered recordable. First off, the case needs to be an event or exposure in the work environment that either caused or contributed to the resulting condition (e.g. injury, fatality…etc.) during work hours. If that’s not the case, the incident is not recordable.
Below are some examples of incidents that would not be considered recordable:
- Symptoms which surface at work but result solely from a non-work related event
- Injuries that result from voluntary participation in wellness programs or other recreational activities
- Injuries caused by eating, drinking or preparing food brought from home or purchased in the workplace
- Illnesses resulting from personal tasks unrelated to employment and outside of work hours
- Injuries from personal grooming or intentional self-inflicted injuries
- Self-medication for a non-work condition
- Common cold or flu
- Mental illness
General recording criteria includes incidents such as death, days away from work, loss of consciousness, the impact on one or more routine functions and medical treatment beyond first aid.
There are also a handful of rules and regulations OSHA has in place for very specific circumstances. On www.osha.gov you can read the specific criteria involving bloodborne pathogens, medical removal, hearing loss and tuberculosis. The site will also discuss remaining gray areas such as medications, incidents in parking lots, work breaks, contractors and temporary employees.
Companies are not only required to include all recordable injuries on OSHA 300 logs, but also report the more severe injuries directly to OSHA. Events are reportable if they consist of work-related fatalities, in-patient hospitalization, amputations or loss of an eye. A heart attack on the job is also considered reportable to OSHA.
Employers are only required to display the summary of the logs for three months throughout the year. However, by law, the information on the OSHA 300 logs should be available to employees all year long upon request.
For a more detailed examination of OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, here’s a replay of an Assurance University webinar I conducted in early 2018. In the webinar, I explain what employers need to know to stay compliant: http://results.assuranceagency.com/OSHARecordkeepingReplay.
- The OSHA Recordkeeping Scramble
- OSHA Electronic Reporting Webinar Q&A
- OSHA 300 Recordkeeping Requirements
- OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements Webinar Replay
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