OSHA has announced it will be implementing a new national emphasis program (NEP). The new NEP will establish a program and procedures that will be used to verify the accuracy of the OSHA Form 300 filings for selected low-rate establishments in high-rate industries.
What this means is that OSHA will inspect companies in industries that have reported low rates of injuries where other companies in the same industry have had higher rates of injuries. Whether or not OSHA will actually beef up its enforcement policy remains to be seen. Either way, now is a great time to review your recordkeeping procedures.
Here is a quick overview of the required OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Forms (29 CFR 1904.29 and 29 CFR 1904.32):
Employers must keep records of injuries and illnesses with OSHA’s recordkeeping forms or their equivalents. While employers are NOT required to send these forms to OSHA, they must keep them on file to show an OSHA inspector. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics periodically requires employers to submit injury and illness records to them for statistical purposes.
OSHA has developed three recordkeeping forms with instructions for completing them:
OSHA Form 300, OSHA Injury and Illness Log
The OSHA 300 Log contains a brief description of each recordable work-related injury or illness that occurred during the calendar year.
Employee privacy. Employers must protect the privacy of injured or ill employees when recording cases. In certain types of cases, such as those involving mental illness, sexual assault, or exposure to bloodborne pathogens, the employer may not enter the injured or ill employee’s name on the OSHA 300 Log.
OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
The annual summary is a list of injuries and illnesses that were recorded on the OSHA 300 Log during the previous calendar year. At the end of each calendar year, employers must:
OSHA Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Report
- Complete Form 300A using the information recorded on the OSHA 300 Log; if the employer is using an equivalent form other than the OSHA 300A summary form, it must include the employee access and employer penalty statements found on the OSHA 300A Summary form.
- Certify the summary; a company executive must certify that he or she has examined the OSHA 300 Log and that he or she reasonably believes, based on his or her knowledge of the process by which the information was recorded, that the annual summary is correct and complete.
- Post the annual summary in the workplace; the annual summary must be posted in a conspicuous place where notices to employees are customarily posted from February 1 to April 30 each year.
This report requires the employee’s name, department, occupation, nature of injury or illness, and extent of lost time. The form contains more detail about an injury or illness than the Form 300. The data must be recorded within 7 working days after receiving information of the event. Again, there are privacy cases where the person’s name may be omitted (29 CFR 1904.29).
Note on ergonomics: There is no separate column for work-related ergonomic injuries. They must still be recorded using the same criteria for any other injury or illness case, with a check in either the injury or “all other illness” column.
Needless to say there is more to proper recordkeeping than just filling in the required forms -- but that sure is a good place to start. And stay tuned, because BLR is about to take Incident Management to a new level of convenience and ease of use!