March 2018 - OSHA 300 Log: Do I Need to Post the Form

The OSHA 300 log is a form that must be filled out and displayed in a visible area that needs to be posted every year between February 1 and April 30. The OSHA 300 log is not required for businesses with 10 or fewer employees and some types of industries that are not under the rules of record keeping and posting requirements. You must be aware that this is a federal requirement concerning safety at the workplace. 

What and When to Report?

Recent law changes required that as of January 1, 2015, all construction business and employers, in general, should be posting and making available to all employees the following information:

  • Work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • Work-related hospitalizations, amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.
  • Record all needlestick and sharps injuries.
  • Record all standard threshold shift (STS) hearing loss cases.
  • Record all MSDs.
  • Any case requiring an employee to be medically removed under the requirements of an OSHA health standard
  • Record all cases of tuberculosis transmission.

So, What Exactly is the OSHA 300 Log?

The OSHA 300 log is a form used by all employers, as applicable, to maintain a log summarizing employee injuries and illnesses. The document must be located in a place visible to all employees and where business or operations are conducted. The form has three main sections: identification, description, and classification.

The first part contains the name, case number and job title, the second column provides a description of where the incident happened, along with the date and injury location, while the third area contains information on the type of injury, days away from work and how many days the work will be restricted.

Tips When Maintaining the Log

Is is important to maintain the log with accurate and filled with timely information. Follow these tips when filling out your log:

  • The log needs to be maintained according to calendar years not fiscal.
  • Information shall be posted within seven days after a recordable case has occurred.
  • Keep and maintain OSHA 300 logs for five years. Delete or add cases as needed to keep the information up-to-date.
  • Employers must keep injury and illness records for each establishment.
  • When employees do not report to work at the same place each day, then records must be kept at the place from which they are paid or at the base from which they operate.
  • The forms must be posted and maintained by all employers even if no recordable injuries or illnesses occurred during the calendar year
  • Equivalent forms provided by the insurance agency must be used, but they need to maintain the same information as required by the OSHA 300 log.

What Forms are Required Besides the OSHA 300 Log?

The following forms shall be filled out and maintain as part of the OSHA 300 log process:

  • OSHA Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
  • OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and
  • the Injury and Illness Incident  Report (OSHA Form 301).

Benefits of Maintaining Records

These records will be beneficial for every construction business because they can be used for the following purposes:

  • Workplace safety evaluations can be analyzed to determine safety issues
  • The summary of events can be used to identify and prevent repeated hazards
  • Used the information from previous year to focus and enhance safety measures around certain activities that have been part of the incidents during previous years
  • The OSHA 300 log can be used to check records during on-going investigations or claims

When Should I Post the Summary Log?

The OSHA form 300 A log must be posted every year by February 1st of the following year, summarizing all injuries from previous year. The log must be visible between February 1st until April 30th.

However, it is important to understand that if an employee ask for a copy for their injury report, the employer is required to provide them a copy of the OSHA 300 log before end of business the day following the request. The log must also be signed by a company executive or authorized representative indicating that the information is true and accurate.

Citation and Penalties for Not Maintaining Your OSHA 300 log

During an OSHA inspection, the 300 log will normally be the first document you will be asked to provide. It is a requirement to present and maintain this log. Otherwise, you can be fined for up to $8,000 for each year of the violation. Business and construction industries can face penalties of $1,000 for every year they fail to maintain the OSHA 300 log form. There is also the probability that a separate citation could be issued for each OSHA 301 form not filled out completely or incorrectly.

List of Common Mistakes When Filing Out the OSHA 300 Log

Be careful when making the annotations on the log, and try to avoid these common issues:

  • Employers might misrepresent what an OSHA recordable event is
  • Thinking that light-duty is not a work restriction
  • Ignoring the employee statement is not accurate or cannot be used as a reference
  • Employers not reporting the injury because the affected employee did not report it on time or immediately
  • Medical treatment is recordable unless it falls within an exception in the regulations, one of which is first aid
  • Forgetting to keep track of lost day during long-term events

Who's Exempt of Maintaining the Form?

In our first section of our article, we explained that not all companies are required to maintain the OSHA 300 log form. There are some employers that are exempt from the federal requirement, including the 300 A posting. The list of exempt industries can be found on OSHA’s website. Remember that the Bureau of Labor Statistics may still select exempted employers to participate in an annual statistical survey, and you must visit the OSHA website for the latest regulations and requirements pertaining to the reporting and recordkeeping guideline. 

All the forms can be obtained from OSHA's website as well as the latest regulations.

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