The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) generally requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for administering the recordkeeping system established by the OSH Act.
This Compliance Overview is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.
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To comply with OSHA’s recordkeeping rules, employers must first determine which incidents to record. In some cases, this can require a detailed analysis to assess whether an incident is work-related.
An injury or illness is work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.
This Compliance Overview provides a sample workflow employers can use to determine whether an injury or illness is work-related and must be entered into the organization’s OSHA records. Employers can also reference published OSHA guidance and frequently asked questions in their efforts to determine whether to record a specific incident.
Links and Resources
OSHA 300 Recordability Flowchart
Employers must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception applies.
- Employee Report of Injury/Illness: Injury or illness reported assumes the individual reporting the injury or illness is an employee of ABC Company. If the employee is a temporary employee from a temporary staffing agency, incidents are to be recorded in the 300 log; however, the temporary staffing agency would be responsible for reporting workers’ compensation claims to the carrier.
- Occupational Hearing Loss: Defined as:
- A change in hearing threshold relative to the baseline audiogram as an average of 10 decibels (dB) or more in either ear at 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 hertz.
- Employee’s total hearing level of 25 dB or more above audiometric zero in both ears at the same hertz levels.
- Medical Treatment:The management and care of a patient to combat disease or disorder. It does not include:
- Visits to practitioners for observation and/or evaluation only
- Diagnostic procedures
- First aid
- First Aid: Defined by OSHA regulations (section 1904.7 (b)(5)). Treatments that are considered first aid include:
- The use of nonprescription medication at nonprescription strength
- Tetanus immunizations
- Cleaning, flushing or soaking surface wounds
- Use of wound coverings, butterfly bandages, Steri-Strips
- Use of non-rigid means of support
- Temporary immobilization devices used to transport victims
- Drilling of fingernails or toenails or draining fluid from a blister
- Hot or cold therapy
- Eye patches
- Removal of foreign bodies from eye using irrigation or cotton swab
- Removal of splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means
- Finger guards
- Massage therapy
- Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress
- Employers in some industries are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records.
- OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or a state agency can overrule this exemption by notifying exempt establishments that they are required to create and maintain workplace injury and illness records.
Employers are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records for any establishment classified in the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, unless they are asked in writing to do so by OSHA, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA or the BLS.
All employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality within eight hours. They must also report to OSHA within 24 hours the in-hospitalization of at least one employee, an amputation or the loss of an eye (see § 1904.39). The partially exempt industry classifications are listed in the table below.
|4412||Other Motor Vehicle Dealers|
|4431||Electronics and Appliance Stores|
|4461||Health and Personal Care Stores|
|4483||Jewelry, Luggage and Leather Goods Stores|
|4511||Sporting Goods, Hobby and Musical Instrument Stores|
|4512||Book, Periodical and Music Stores|
|4532||Office Supplies, Stationery and Gift Stores|
|4812||Nonscheduled Air Transportation|
|4861||Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil|
|4862||Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas|
|4869||Other Pipeline Transportation|
|4879||Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Other|
|4885||Freight Transportation Arrangement|
|5111||Newspaper, Periodical, Book and Directory Publishers|
|5121||Motion Picture and Video Industries|
|5122||Sound Recording Industries|
|5151||Radio and Television Broadcasting|
|5172||Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)|
|5181||Internet Service Providers and Web Search Portals|
|5182||Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services|
|5191||Other Information Services|
|5211||Monetary Authorities – Central Bank|
|5221||Depository Credit Intermediation|
|5222||Nondepository Credit Intermediation|
|5223||Activities Related to Credit Intermediation|
|5231||Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage|
|5232||Securities and Commodity Exchanges|
|5239||Other Financial Investment Activities|
|5242||Agencies, Brokerages and Other Insurance- Related Activities|
|5251||Insurance and Employee Benefit Funds|
|5259||Other Investment Pools and Funds|
|5312||Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers|
|5331||Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works)|
|5412||Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services|
|5413||Architectural, Engineering and Related Services|
|5414||Specialized Design Services|
|5415||Computer Systems Design and Related Services|
|5416||Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services|
|5417||Scientific Research and Development Services|
|5418||Advertising and Related Services|
|5511||Management of Companies and Enterprises|
|5611||Office Administrative Services|
|5614||Business Support Services|
|5615||Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services|
|5616||Investigation and Security Services|
|6111||Elementary and Secondary Schools|
|6113||Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools|
|6114||Business Schools and Computer and Management Training|
|6115||Technical and Trade Schools|
|6116||Other Schools and Instruction|
|6117||Educational Support Services|
|6211||Offices of Physicians|
|6212||Offices of Dentists|
|6213||Offices of Other Health Practitioners|
|6214||Outpatient Care Centers|
|6215||Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories|
|6244||Child Day Care Services|
|7114||Agents and Managers for Artists, Athletes, Entertainers and Other Public Figures|
|7115||Independent Artists, Writers and Performers|
|7213||Rooming and Boarding Houses|
|7222||Limited-Service Eating Places|
|7224||Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)|
|8112||Electronic and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance|
|8114||Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance|
|8121||Personal Care Services|
|8122||Death Care Services|
|8132||Grantmaking and Giving Services|
|8133||Social Advocacy Organizations|
|8134||Civic and Social Organizations|
|8139||Business, Professional, Labor, Political and Similar Organizations|