Recordkeeping Requirements Apply to Most Business in the United States

OSHA requires employers who had 11 or more employees at any time during the calendar year to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses are recorded on 300 Logs, and if you’re an employer who is required to complete them, you may be already be aware of how to complete them. However, below are some common mistakes that employers make regarding recordkeeping.

Let’s start the countdown with the top 5 most common recordkeeping errors we see as Safety & Health Professionals:

1. Forgetting to Post the OSHA 300 A Form

  • Employers who are required to complete 300 Logs must post a copy of the Annual Summary (300A) for the previous year. This must be posted in a conspicuous place where employees would be able to access and must remain posted from February 01st-April 30th. Recording Injuries Resulting in Only First Aid Treatment

2. Incorrectly Recording an Injury or Illness that Resulted in Days Away from Work

  • For injuries or illnesses that resulted in both days away from and job transfer/restriction, you want to be sure this is being properly documented on your 300 Log. If an injury originally resulted in job restriction and later resulted in days away from work, you would want to classify the case as the most severe consequence for the case. In this situation, you could classify the case as “days away from work” as this is the more severe outcome.

3. Failure to Retain OSHA 300 Logs

  • OSHA requires that employers maintain the OSHA 300 Log, 300A, and 301 Log for a period of five (5) years following the end of the calendar year that the records cover.
  • If there is an update to an injury or illness that occurred in a previous year, OSHA’ requires that the case be updated to reflect the change.

4. Believing Your Company is Exempt

  • If, at any time during the calendar year, your company reached 11 or more employees, the company is not size exempt and must keep records of any and all injuries/illnesses you would be required to comply with OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations and complete 300 logs. Employers who had ten (10) or fewer employees at all times during the calendar year would fall under “OSHA’s partial exemption based on size and would NOT be required to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless OSHA or the BLS informs you in writing that you must.
  • It is important to remember that OSHA’s partial exemption for size does not apply to Reporting requirements. OSHA requires ALL employers to report workplace fatalities within 8 hours and in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye within 24 hours.
  • As a reminder, employers who have more than 250 employees are required to electronically submit their OSHA 300A electronically to OSHA’s secure website. Establishments with 20-249 employees, that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses, are also required to submit their OSHA Form 300A electronically.

5. Not Understanding OSHA’s Requirements

  • Most companies know they need to record injuries and illnesses but are unsure about the requirements themselves.

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