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OSHA: Incident Reporting and Recordkeeping

Safety Agent Inspecting after Workplace AccidentAs part of OSHA’s push for higher workplace safety standards, employers must report and record all serious accidents resulting in worker injury or illness. This requirement helps companies improve their environmental health and safety training programs, protect workers, and ultimately create safer working conditions. Review the latest reporting rules (effective January 1, 2015) to keep your business OSHA compliant.

What workplace safety incident records does OSHA require me to keep?

All employers with 12 or more employees who do not operate in exempt industries must record all serious workplace incidents in one of three types of OSHA recordkeeping logs. You can find out if your industry is exempt by referring to Appendix A of the official OSHA Recordkeeping Regulation.

Which incident logs am I required to use?

If you are not exempt from reporting, you must complete three types of OSHA logs: 300, 301, and 300A.

  • The OSHA 300 log must be completed for every location in which an incident occurs. Employers must record the total number of injuries, missed and restrict days of work for each item.
  • The OSHA 301 log must be completed within one week of a reported incident. Employers must summarize the time, location, and people involved for each incident.
  • The OSHA 300A log must be completed annually and contains all of the information recorded in the 300 and 301 logs. Employers must complete and post this log for employees to review between February 1 and April 30.

What incidents am I required to record and report?

Employers must record all workplace safety incidents that result in:

  • Fatality
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Intensive medical treatment (beyond first aid)
  • Time off from work
  • Restricted job functions or transfers
  • Loss of hearing, breathing problems, and puncture wounds

Employers must also record serious work-related injuries and diagnoses that do not fall under the above categories. These may include chemical poisoning or burns, chronic illness, sprains and fractures, etc. If exposure to a workplace hazard exacerbated an existing condition or injury, the event qualifies as a recordable case.

In addition to recording, employers must report certain types of incidents directly to OSHA. All workplace fatalities must be reported within 8 hours, and hospitalizations, amputations, and eye losses within 24 hours. You can report directly to OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or the phone number of your local OSHA Area Office during operating hours. You can also fill out and submit an online form on OSHA’s website.

How can I use this data to improve workplace safety training?

You should review the frequency of workplace safety incidents by calculating the rate of total incidents and incidents resulting in transfers or time off from work. Meet with team members on a regular basis to review this information and identify contributing factors such as location, time of day, equipment involved, supervisors in charge of the project, etc. You can then revise your workplace safety policies and implement stricter training guidelines.

Incident analysis software can help streamline your efforts. You can also ask employees for their safety and health concerns and suggestions, as they have first-hand experience on the workfloor.

Where can I find safety training programs for OSHA recordkeeping?

In addition to workplace safety training courses, OSHA Pros offers training on workplace safety incident reporting and recordkeeping. Learn when and how to report incidents and how to set up your recordkeeping system.  Most importantly, learn the warning signs and preventive measures you can take to put safety first and avoid workplace safety incidents.