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Course 708 - OSHA Recordkeeping Basics

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Maintaining Forms (Continued)

In this module, we'll continue on with an overview of the requirements related to retaining forms, involving employees, access to forms, and safeguards against discrimination.

Paperwork Retention and Updating

You must save:

  • OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,
  • privacy case list (if one exists),
  • OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and
  • OSHA Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Reports.

You must save these forms for five years following the end of the calendar year to which the records pertain. See forms

The five-year time period enables employers, employees, and researchers to obtain sufficient data to discover patterns and trends of illnesses and injuries and, in many cases, to demonstrate the statistical significance of such data.

Updating during storage: Employers must update their OSHA 300 Logs under two circumstances.

  1. If the employer discovers a recordable injury or illness that has not previously been recorded, the case must be entered on the forms.
  2. If a previously recorded injury or illness turns out, based on later information, not to have been recorded properly, the employer must modify the previous entry. For example, if the description or outcome of a case changes (a case requiring medical treatment becomes worse and the employee must take days off work to recuperate), the employer must remove or line out the original entry and enter the new information.

The intent of the rule is to ensure Log updates are made on a continuing basis, i.e., as new information is discovered during the retention period, it should be recorded within 7 calendar days of discovery, the same interval required for the recording of any new case. If new information about an existing case is discovered, it should be entered within 7 days of receiving the new information.

Change of Business Ownership

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If your business changes ownership, you are responsible for recording and reporting work-related injuries and illnesses only for that period of the year during which you owned the establishment. You must transfer the records to the new owner. The new owner must save all records of the establishment kept by the prior owner, but need not update or correct the records of the prior owner.

The phrase "change of ownership," for the purposes of this section, is relevant only to the transfer of the responsibility to make and retain OSHA-required injury and illness records. In other words, if one employer transfers ownership of an establishment to a different employer, the new entity becomes responsible for retaining the previous employer's past OSHA-required records and for creating all new records required by this rule. The new owner is not required to update or correct the records of the prior owner, even if new information about old cases becomes available.

Employee Involvement

Your employees and their representatives must be involved in the recordkeeping system in several ways:

  • You must inform each employee of how they are to report a work-related injury or illness to you.
  • You must provide access to your injury and illness records for your employees and their representatives.

Implementation

You can do the following to make sure employees report work-related injuries and illnesses:

  • Set up a way for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly; and
  • Tell each employee how to report work-related injuries and illnesses to you.

When an employee, former employee, or personal representative asks for a copy of the OSHA Form 301 or equivalent describing an injury or illness to that employee or former employee, you must give the requester a copy of the OSHA Form 301 or equivalent containing that information by the end of the next business day.

When an authorized employee representative asks for copies of the OSHA Form 301 or equivalent, for an establishment where the agent represents employees under a collective bargaining agreement, you must give copies of those forms to the authorized employee representative within 7 calendar days.

  • You are only required to give the authorized employee representative information from the releasable part of the OSHA Form 301 or equivalent section titled “Tell us about the case” or a similar section.
  • You must remove all other information from the copy of the OSHA Form 301 or equivalent form that you give to the authorized employee representative.

You may not charge for these copies the first time. However, if one of the designated persons asks for additional copies, you may assess a reasonable charge for retrieving and copying the records.

What am I required to report under the new rule as of January 1, 2015?

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OSHA's New Reporting Explained

Previously, employers had to report the following events to OSHA:

  1. All work-related fatalities
  2. All work-related hospitalizations of three or more employees

As of January 1, 2015, employers have to report the following events to OSHA:

  1. All work-related fatalities
  2. All work-related in-patient hospitalizations of one or more employees. OSHA defines in-patient hospitalization as a formal admission to the in-patient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.
  3. All work-related amputations. An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions (tissue torn away from the body), enucleations (removal of the eyeball), deglovings (skin torn away from the underlying tissue), scalpings (removal of the scalp), severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth.
  4. All work-related losses of an eye
  5. All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye to OSHA, even if they are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records.

Hospitalization Recording Information

You must give OSHA the following information for each fatality or multiple hospitalizations incident:

  1. The establishment name;
  2. The location of the incident;
  3. The time of the incident;
  4. The number of fatalities or hospitalized employees;
  5. The names of any injured employees;
  6. Your contact person and his or her phone number; and
  7. A brief description of the incident.

Reporting Fatalities from a Motor Vehicle Accident

You do not have to report every fatality or multiple hospitalization incidents resulting from a motor vehicle accident. If the accident occurs on a public street or highway, and does not occur in a construction work zone, you do not have to report the incident to OSHA. However, these injuries must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

When do I have to report work-related fatalities and severe injuries/illnesses?

Employers must report work-related fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about it.

For any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss, employers must report the incident within 24 hours of learning about it.

Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, then incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.

How do I report events to OSHA?

Employers have three options for reporting the event:

  1. By telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours. If the Area Office is closed, you must report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye using either the 800 number (1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742) or the reporting application located on OSHA's public website.
  2. By telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline (1-800-321-OSHA or 1-800-321-6742).
  3. OSHA is developing a new means of reporting events electronically, which will be released soon and accessible on OSHA's website.

What are the Hospitalization Recording Requirements?

For any inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss that occurs within 24 hours of a work- related incident, employers must report the event within 24 hours of learning about it.

Employers reporting a fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye to OSHA must report the following information:

  • Establishment name
  • Location of the work-related incident
  • Time of the work-related incident
  • Type of reportable event (i.e., fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye)
  • Number of employees who suffered the event
  • Names of the employees who suffered the event
  • Contact person and his or her phone number
  • Brief description of the work-related incident

Do I have to report it?

Do I have to report the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye that results in a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway? No, you do not if the following occur:

  1. It resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway. Employers must report the event if it happened in a construction work zone.
  2. It occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, subway, bus, ferry, streetcar, light rail, train).
  3. It occurred more than 30 days after the work-related incident in the case of a fatality or more than 24 hours after the work-related incident in the case of an inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. However, you must record the event on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records. If a fatality occurs within 30 days of the work-related incident, or if an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye occurs within 24 hours of the work-related incident, then you must report the event to OSHA.

Note: Employers do not have to report an inpatient hospitalization if it was for diagnostic testing or observation only. An inpatient hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment.

Do I have to report a fatality caused by a heart attack at work?

Yes, employers do have to report an inpatient hospitalization due to a heart attack, if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.

What if I don't learn about a reportable fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye right away? Or what if I cannot determine that it was work-related right away?

You must report to OSHA within the following time period after the fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye is reported to you or to any of your agent(s) and you determine that it is work-related: 8 hours for a fatality, and 24 hours for an in-patient hospitalization, an amputation, or a loss of an eye.

Reporting Requirements

You do not have to call OSHA to report a fatality or multiple hospitalization incident if it involves a commercial airplane, train, subway or bus accident. However, these injuries must be recorded on your OSHA injury and illness records, if you are required to keep such records.

Heart Attacks at Work

You will need to report a fatality caused by a heart attack at work. Your local OSHA Area Office director will decide whether to investigate the incident, depending on the circumstances of the heart attack.

Reporting Incidents

You must report each fatality or multiple hospitalization incident that occurs within thirty (30) days of an incident. If a fatality or hospitalization occurs long after an incident, you don't need to report it.

Delayed Responses

If you do not learn of a reportable incident at the time it occurs and the incident would otherwise be reportable under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, you must make the report within eight (8) hours of the time the incident is reported to you or to any of your agent(s) or employee(s).

Electronic Submission of Records to OSHA

There are two categories of employers who must routinely submit information from their injury and illness records to OSHA:

  1. If your establishment had 250 or more employees at any time during the previous calendar year, and you are required keep records, then you must electronically submit information from the following three forms to OSHA annually:
    • OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses,
    • the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and
    • OSHA Form 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report.
  2. If your establishment had 20 or more employees but fewer than 250 employees at any time during the previous calendar year, and your company is listed in Part 1904, appendix A to subpart E, you are required to keep records and must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A OSHA annually.
  3. Upon notification, you must electronically submit the requested information from your part 1904 records to OSHA.

For more information on electronically submitting records to OSHA be sure to 29 CFR 1904.41, Electronic submission of injury and illness records to OSHA.

Requests from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

If you receive a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, you must promptly complete the form and return it following the instructions on the survey form.

Prohibition Against Discrimination

29 CFR 1904.36 prohibits you from discriminating against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury, or illness. That provision of the Act also protects the employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to the part 1904 records, or otherwise exercises any rights afforded by the OSH Act

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. If the employer discovers a recordable injury that has not previously been recorded, the employer _____.

2. If a previously recorded injury or illness turns out, based on later information, not to have been recorded properly, the employer must _____.

3. Which of the following persons does not have the right to access a particular employee's OSHA injury and illness records?

4. The employer must report a fatality if it occurs within _____ of the accident.

5. Which of the following employee actions is not protected by 29 CFR 1904.36, Prohibition against discrimination?


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.