The Five W’s of OSHA Recordkeeping
Ensuring your company’s safety records remain up-to-date and properly recorded is essential to understanding your company’s workplace safety. Knowing the five W’s of OSHA reporting best practices will help your company evaluate the circumstances that lead to an injury or illness and determine ways to reduce safety hazards moving forward.
- Employers must record incidents involving full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, salaried, and hourly workers.
- In certain cases, OSHA recommends listing “privacy case” rather than the employee’s name on the OSHA 300 form. In these situations, OSHA requires the employee’s name and case number to be recorded on a separate private document.
- If three or more employees are hospitalized or a death occurs, companies must directly report to OSHA via phone (800-321-OSHA) or in person within eight hours of the incident in addition to recording the case(s) in proper documentation.
- When an employee requests a copy of the company’s OSHA forms, the employer must provide them by the end of the next business day.
- If treated by a licensed health care professional, the case is recordable, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.
- If a doctor prescribes medication to the employee as result of the injury or illness, the case would be recordable regardless of whether the employee purchases or uses the prescription.
- An incident would not be considered recordable if the employee does not receive medical treatment beyond first aid, even if taken to the hospital.
- On average, if an incident occurred in the workplace, it is recordable. Specifically, if an event or exposure in the workplace caused or contributed to the condition, or considerably intensified a pre-existing injury or illness, it would be considered recordable.
- OSHA requires that employers post the 300A form in an easily accessible area of the workplace each year from February 1 to April 30.
- When recording number of days away from work, begin counting day(s) away from work the day after the injury or illness occurred.
- If a case occurred in 2012, and resulted in days away from work in 2013, only report the number of days away in 2012 OSHA forms.
- Estimate the total number of days away for 2012-2013 on the 2012 OSHA 300A form and update the form when the total days have been confirmed.
- The maximum days away from work companies are required to report is 180 days.
- Companies that strive for continuous improvement understand that correctly reporting injuries and illnesses, along with having the information easily accessible, assists in reducing their overall incident rates and improving their safety standards.
To help simplify and streamline your company’s OSHA recordkeeping, ISNetworld features the SmartLog tool. This reporting tool provides a step-by-step guide to tracking details of an illness, injury, or near miss. SmartLog also provides the ability to generate company specific reports and produce printable OSHA forms.
For more information on ISNetworld’s SmartLog tool, click here.