How to Submit OSHA Logs and Forms
Are you an employer with ten or more employees? If you answered yes, you’re probably subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
We understand how hard it is to stay compliant and up-to-date with OSHA’s laws and regulations. Companies like yours should have safety and risk management designed to help with worksite safety, prevention, and OSHA compliance.
If you’re wondering what reporting requirements are and how to submit them, we have you covered. Keep reading to learn about recordkeeping requirements in this OSHA logs and forms guide.
What are OSHA Logs?
If your employees have an illness or injury, your company needs to record it. You’ll need to fill out one of the following forms:
- OSHA 300 (Log)
- OSHA 300-A
- OSHA 301
Even though OSHA has changed the form a few times, the recordkeeping requirements remain the same. All employers must keep a log unless they have ten workers or fewer in a year. Or your business is in a low-risk industry.
It can be confusing to figure out which injuries and illnesses you need to document. This is one benefit of having an electronic OSHA recordkeeping system. E-filing injury and illness records is important and could become beneficial to updating requirements in the future.
OSHA 300 Log
OSHA 300 Log is also called the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses or OSHA’s Form 300.
The 300 Log is where all your injuries and illnesses in a calendar year are recorded or logged. You also need to keep one Log for every work address you have on file for employees. This means if you have 100 locations, you have 100 individual 300 Logs.
OSHA makes this Log available in Excel form on its website. You do not have to use their Log to keep track of information. You can also use something more up-to-date and easier to manage if you’re collecting the same info.
If you use compliance software, you can collect your data electronically all year long. At the end of the year, export it in OSHA’s format, and when you’re ready, post your 300A or send it in.
The OSHA 300 reporting method saves you a lot of time in January when you need to have these reports ready. Hopefully, the process reminds you to promote a safety culture in your workplace so it runs smoothly all year round.
OSHA 300 Reporting Challenges
One of the biggest issues employers face with OSHA 300 reporting logs is figuring out which injuries or illnesses get covered by OSHA logs.
Some employers associate injuries with workers’ compensation. They believe if something leads to a workers’ compensation claim, it should automatically get logged. That’s not always a good idea and can lead to over-reporting.
On the flip side, some employers think that if a work-related injury or illness isn’t covered by workers’ compensation, it doesn’t need to be recorded. By omitting certain data, you have the opposite effect and end up under-reporting.
It can become confusing, and employers can overthink the process making it more complicated than necessary. For example, you aren’t required to log the illness or injury if the employee does not display signs or symptoms.
When a worker has an injury or illness that causes them to miss work, employers must record days away from work. These days include weekends, holidays, and other days that a worker might not have reported to work. An employer may limit the number of days away to 180.
OSHA has a great search tool on its website. Anytime you question whether something should get recorded, use the OSHA recordkeeping and reporting keyword search app.
Privacy Reporting Rules
Some cases are referred to as “privacy cases” and handled confidentially. Employers cannot include an employee’s name on an OSHA 300 Log in these cases. The following are examples of “privacy” cases:
- Injuries or illnesses
- to intimate body parts
- reproductive system
- Sexual assaults
- Mental illnesses
- HIV infection
There are also special instructions for other instances. You will need to report OSHA 300 reporting for cuts caused by sharp objects, rare diseases, and illnesses like hearing or vision loss.
In these cases, employers have the discretion to describe the sensitive nature of an injury where the worker’s identity would be known.
OSHA 300 Electronic Reporting
When it comes to recording injuries and illnesses, some electronic systems have built-in artificial intelligence. The tools available help you figure out if a case meets the recordkeeping criteria.
According to OSHA, some illnesses can be caused or attributed to the workplace environment or made worse by the work environment.
In addition, some things that happen in the workplace aren’t work-related. The best example is someone becoming ill after eating food they brought in or prepared at work.
OSHA Form 300A
OSHA log 300A is an annual log of all OSHA-recorded incidents at every business location. The previous year’s OSHA log of incidents must be posted at each job site for employees to view between February 1st and April 30th.
OSHA recordkeeping logs must include the following information:
- Number of OSHA recordable incidents
- Number of hours worked
- Number of missed/restricted days
- Injury and illness types
- Identifying company data
If you have more than eleven employees and are not in a partially exempt industry (i.e., not in a recordable injury or illness category), you’ll still need to post your OSHA log. You can visit the OSHA website when unsure whether your industry is subject to OSHA recordkeeping.
In instances where your location doesn’t have an OSHA recordable incident, you still need to post an OSHA recordkeeping log.
Who Posts the 300A OSHA Logs
Some companies might not know who is responsible for posting the form and ensuring it stays available to employees. According to OSHA rules, the responsible party is the company executive.
Roles to distinguish who is considered a company executive include:
- Upper-level management
When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping rules, you want to make sure your company is held accountable. Posting the form will help your company avoid any potential penalties from the agency.
Filing 300A OSHA Documents
As of January 1st, 2017, OSHA requires businesses to send their Form 300A information electronically yearly.
The 2017 ruling applies to employers with 250 employees or more, as well as those with 20 employees or more in high-risk industries. They must use the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA).
OSHA Form 301
In the event of an injury or illness in the workplace, OSHA Form 301 is the first document you’ll need to complete. It’s part of the 1970 OSH Act, created to raise the minimum level of safety and health to make it more important.
It’s also known as OSHA’s Recordkeeping Standard. Back in 2001, OSHA made filling out reports and forms easier, which meant more accountability.
You’ll need to save the yearly summary of all the reports you file. Filings include the Incident Report forms, which you’ll need to keep for five years after the calendar year ends.
In some cases, if you’ve filled out a form for state workers’ compensation or insurance, OSHA might consider it “equivalent” to Form 301. Like the OSHA 300 Log and 300A filing, if you have ten employees or fewer, you’re not required to fill out Form 301.
However, you can fill out other forms if they include the information you need. These include forms for workers’ compensation and insurance providers. Remember, injury reports contain private medical info, so they’re private and confidential.
Completing Form 301
If you fill out Form 301, it’s usually pretty straightforward. You need to give the employee’s name, where they live, who’s their doctor, and any illnesses or injuries they experienced. Line item ten asks for more complex info, like what the employee did before the accident and what caused the injury.
If an employer has an employee who passes away or gets hospitalized due to workplace accidents, they must report it within 8 to 24 hours. Otherwise, all other reporting has seven calendar days to file Form 301.
You can report any hospitalizations, deaths, amputations, or eye injuries by calling 1-888-321-OSHA or going online at www.OSHA.gov. You can also visit a local OSHA office.
The information is accessible by an OSHA investigator. It can be used to help you figure out how to make changes to your employee safety program.
If you don’t keep OSHA records, you could face hefty penalties and fines. Your company could be fined $15,625 per violation for what they deem as serious, other-than-serious, or posting requirements.
A “failure to abate” violation occurs when the employer has failed to rectify an OSHA violation for which a citation has been issued. In addition, you can get fined $15,625 per day for failure to abate. The fines begin to accrue once the “abatement date” has expired.
An employer can be fined for a repeat offense if a new inspection finds the same or a much worse condition. OSHA refers to this as willful and repeated violations. For every violation within the last three years, the fine can be up to $156,259 per violation.
OSHA recordkeeping is crucial to avoid fines and to ensure you’re taking corrective action to make the workplace safer. In most cases, inspectors will ask you for your OSHA 300 log during an inspection. A violation is triggered when you fail to supply the information.
Step-by-Step Process for Filing OSHA Forms and Logs
Before we get into the step-by-step process of completing OSHA 300 reporting of work-related injuries, let’s do a brief recap.
If an injury or illness is deemed “work-related” or “recordable” within seven days of the incident, you must fill out a Form 301 report. You’ll also need to record the incident in a Form 300 Log for the worksite.
After the end of the year, you can fill out a Form 300A Summary and post it in a well-lit area of the worksite between February 1st and April 30th. You’ll need to submit the summary to OSHA before March 2nd.
Step 1: Completing Form 301
The employee has either experienced an injury or an illness. Once the incident occurs, the clock starts on the seven calendar day period. You’ll need to decide if the incident rises to the level of being both work-related and recordable.
There are several questions to ask. If the answers are yes, you’re required to complete form 301.
Has the employee experienced an illness or injury in the workplace? Or, did the injury happen while working outside of the physical workplace but while on the clock?
1. Is the illness or injury work-related? Remember, there are instances where the incident is not covered, such as the employee heating lunch in a microwave and later developing food poison.
2. Is this the first time the employee is reporting this specific illness or injury? If not, you’ll need to pull the previous injury report and update it with the new information.
3. OSHA provides basic reporting requirements. You’ll need to determine if this incident meets those requirements. Reminder: If the illness or injury was work-related, you must report it.
4. The person authorized to complete Form 301 must provide the following information in the left corner at the bottom of the form:
- Phone number
- Date of reporting
Fields 1 – 5
In the first five fields of the report, you’ll enter the injured employee’s information.
1. Employee’s name
2. Full address (street, city, state, zip code)
3. Date of birth (month, day, year)
4. Date hired (month, day, year)
5. Gender (male or female)
Make sure all of the information is complete and accurate. OSHA must have verifiable information in case they need to start an investigation.
Fields 6 – 8
In these fields, the reporting party will include details of the healthcare provider who provided treatment to the employee. In some instances, the employee is required to go to the emergency room for treatment. When this happens, you’ll include information about any healthcare facilities the employee visited for treatment.
It’s also vital to note if the employee was admitted to the hospital for further observation or treatment. Fields 6 – 8 will ask these questions.
6. Name of physician or other healthcare professionals. If treatment was provided off the worksite, where was it given:
- Street address
- Zip code
7. Was the employee treated in the emergency room?
8. Was the employee hospitalized overnight as an in-patient?
As you can see, the questions are very simple and straightforward. At this point, the form only requires basic information about work-related injuries.
Fields 10 – 18
These fields are used to record the details of the incident. You don’t provide an actual account of what happened. Instead, you provide the basic information as follows:
10. You’ll need to refer to the 300 Log to complete this question, as you’ll need the case number. Because the case number and the event number must match, you should enter this field in the report only after the event has been recorded in the Log (even if you plan to review the Log later).
11. Enter the date of the incident or illness. Include the exact month, date, and year.
12. Here, you will enter the time when the employee started working on the day the incident occurred. Notate whether it was in the morning (AM) or afternoon (PM).
13. This is where you enter the time of the incident. You may not know the exact time, but narrowing it down to the best of your ability is crucial. Also, you need to indicate if it was in the AM or PM.
There should be no personally identifiable information in fields 14-17. You’ll explain in more detail when you get to the OSHA Log 300.
14. What was the employee doing just prior to the incident? Be specific. Explain if the employee was using tools or equipment.
Example: if they were driving a forklift, what materials were they moving?
15. How did the injury or illness occur? Be specific as well.
Example: the employee was on a ladder stocking supplies on the top shelf when they slipped and fell four feet to the floor. The employee felt pain in their lower back.
16. What was the injury or illness? Be specific in identifying what part of the body was affected and how. Example: lower back, left wrist, or right knee.
17. Identify the object or substance directly causing the worker’s injury or illness. Example: hazardous chemicals, concrete floor, open metal file drawer
You can leave this blank if it doesn’t apply.
18. In the worst-case scenario, a workplace injury or illness can lead to the employee’s death. In this case, you would enter the date of death by including the month, day, and year. Note this date may not be the same date as the injury.
For example, the incident may have happened on a Monday. However, the employee did not fatally succumb to their injury or illness until six days later.
Finalizing Step 1
You can also add as many pages to your report as you need to provide a complete response to any questions on the form. After you complete the incident report, you will need to include some of the abbreviated data in the OSHA 300 reporting log.
Step 2: Completing 300 Log
Remember, the Form 300 Log is a continuous document to be filled out throughout the year. If you have multiple physical locations, you will need to keep separate logs for each one. You can download the Form 300 Log form from OSHA’s website.
In the top right-hand corner of the Log, type in the year, your establishment’s name, city, and state.
First, refer back to form 301 and assign the exact employee case number. Enter the employee’s name and position.
NOTE: There are situations in which you do not include the employee’s name. Refer to our section above on “Privacy Reporting Rules.” For these cases, enter “privacy case.”
Describe the event. You’ll need to include the following:
- Date of injury or illness
- Place of the event
- Location of the event
- Description of the injury/illness
- Body parts affected
- Object(s) directly injured/made the person ill
Once again, your responses should match the answers in the Form 301 Report.
Classify the case according to the severity of the outcome. This will include notating the following:
- Days away from work
- Job transfer or restriction
- Other recordable cases
You can only select one outcome per case. As you add cases to the 300 Log, the fillable PDF automatically totals each column at the bottom. These totals will be applied to the Form 300A summary.
Enter how many days the worker who was been hurt or is ill was off work or on a job restriction. If you have an issue, return to step three and enter the number of days. Days away from work are considered calendar days when the employee is not on the work schedule.
Identify the incident based on the type of injury or illness. You can only select one.
OSHA defines an illness or injury as an “abnormal condition or disorder.” These conditions can include:
- Acute illnesses
- Chronic illnesses
- Skin diseases
- Respiratory disorder
Keep in mind that you do not publish or submit the Log. You must keep the Log for your records for a period of 5 years.
Step Three: Completing Form 300A
Form 300A Summary completion, posting, and submission is the last and most critical step in OSHA Injury and Illness Reporting. Good OSHA recordkeeping makes this part a breeze.
On the right-hand side, type in the name and address of your business. You’ll also need to include your industry description and, if you know it, your NAICS code.
Below your business’s info, you’ll need to enter the average number of employees each year and the total number of hours each employee worked last year. In the bottom right, a company executive signs off on the Summary. The executive must print their name and state their title, number, and date.
Don’t Get Caught Unprepared!
If your company is responsible for keeping OSHA Logs, knowing who’s responsible for preparing and submitting them is crucial. KHA can help make sure your OSHA documents meet all government standards.
Don’t risk expensive fines for not reporting work-related injuries. Learn how we can make OSHA recordkeeping easy.
Schedule a demo today.