It’s a fact of life – accidents happen. While it’s impossible to predict or anticipate accidents in the workplace, one thing that employers can prepare for is recordkeeping and reporting.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers with 10 or more employees to keep detailed records of serious work-related injuries and illnesses.
What must an employer do when an accident happens? OSHA requires that injurious accidents are recorded on a Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Certain low-risk industries are exempted. The OSHA Form 300 log collects information and specific details about each case – what happened, how it happened, and the severity of the accident.
The employer must log the incident on Form 300 and complete an OSHA Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report within seven days of receiving information about the case.
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, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye.
What constitutes a reportable injury? Records must be kept for work-related injuries or illnesses that require treatment beyond first aid. These include injuries that cause a loss of consciousness, necessitate time off from work or work restrictions, or result in a diagnosis of disease (like cancer or tuberculosis). In addition, there are special reporting criteria for injuries related to sharps and needles, hearing loss, and tooth or bone fractures.
Minor injuries requiring only first aid do not need to be recorded.