Recording OSHA Incidents – When do You Have to Report?

Construction accident

What do you do after an employee is injured on the job, receives medical attention and reports back to you? A worker’s comp claim and the threat of an OSHA inspection are enough to send a shiver down any manager’s spine. Employees become distracted, productivity slows to a crawl, and general workplace safety becomes even more of an issue.

While OSHA may seem like the bane of many companies’ existence, the risks of avoiding them can be just as bad as a visit from their inspectors. If a workplace injury is recordable by OSHA Standards, it’s often better to take your medicine and report an injury or illness, rather than face the hefty fines and punitive action that can result from negligence and withholding information.

Remember that when a workplace injury or illness occurs, there are a number of factors that determine whether or not it is a recordable instance that must be reported on your OSHA 300 log.

What Makes an Injury OSHA-Recordable?

  1. Injury or illness must be work-related: it either occurs in the work environment, or exposure to the work environment must aggravate an existing condition.
  2. Fatalities and incidents where an employee loses consciousness are automatically recordable.
  3. Incidents where an employee misses days from work (other than the day the injury occurred) or is transferred to a different job or has job restrictions are recordable.
  4. Cases of significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or licensed healthcare professional (i.e. cancer, chronic disease, punctured eardrum, or broken bones) must be recorded if it is determined it was work related.
  5. Cases involving medical treatment beyond first aid, notwithstanding who performed the treatment, are recordable. Just because an employee receives care from a clinic or doctor does not automatically mean that the treatment went beyond “first aid.” 29 CFR 1904.7 (b)(5)(ii)(A) details what treatments are considered to be first aid.
  6. Consult 29 CFR 1904 or a safety specialist for more information on this matter.

Bottom line: an accident on the job is bad enough. If it’s “OSHA-Recordable” don’t make it worse by failing to report it. Make sure your managers know what to do when injuries occur with adequate occupational health and safety training. OSHA-Pros provide online and onsite OSHA training and certification courses that can help your team reduce the number of incidents and know what to do when they do occur.