The Occupational Safety & Health Administration requires employers with more than 10 employees to record and report all occupational illnesses and injuries that occur in their workplaces. OSHA has specific forms for employers to use to keep track of injuries and illnesses, as well as specific posting and record retention requirements. Employers must be able to tell the difference between medical treatment and first aid treatment for OSHA reporting purposes, and know what is reportable per OSHA regulations. Injuries and illnesses involving loss of consciousness, days away from work or work restrictions, and medical treatment are recordable. Injuries and illnesses that involve first aid only are not recordable.
OSHA requires employers to use three forms in OSHA accident and injury reporting: Forms 300, 300A, and 301.
- The OSHA Form 300 is the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses where employers must record accidents and injuries as they occur, classifying them and recording relevant information such as what body part was affected, the exact nature of the injury or illness and any days missed because of the incident.
- The OSHA Form 300A is the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. This is the form that counts up the total number of injuries and illnesses at the end of the year with brief summaries and classifications for posting. The summary form has a worksheet with it to help users complete the summary.
- The OSHA Form 301 is a form that must be filled out for each individual injury or illness when it happens, and is used to then fill in the OSHA Log, or Form 300.
The OSHA Form 301 Injury and Illness Report is used to record injuries and illnesses as they occur, and is used to record incidents in the OSHA Log (Form 300). These forms are used to fill out the Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, which is the form that gets posted for everyone to see the employer’s record of accidents and injuries. The OSHA Form 300A summary of reportable incidents from the immediately preceding year must be posted in a conspicuous, accessible place from February 1 to April 30. Forms 300, 300A and 301 can all be found here.
OSHA regulations require employers to keep OSHA 300 Logs, any privacy cases, annual summaries, and OSHA 301 Incident Reports for five years from the end of the calendar years that they cover. Employers must update OSHA Logs with any information discovered later and correct any information entered incorrectly. The period of five years allows employers and OSHA to spot trends in accidents and illnesses to take corrective actions to prevent or eliminate causes.
February 1 is the OSHA Log Summary report posting date. Employers shouldn’t wait until the posting date is nearing to review OSHA records and make sure logs and summaries are updated. Best practices for OSHA recordkeeping are investigating and recording incidents as they occur, and reviewing the annual log well in advance of the required posting date so any inaccuracies can be investigated and corrected in time for annual posting. OSHA reporting modules are included in HRIS solutions, automating the process and making reporting easier and more error-free than manual processes.