Employers must understand injury recording keeping, knowing what illnesses and injuries to record and when. Tracking employee injuries and illnesses due to a workplace event or exposure can help you make the necessary changes to keep your workers safe in the future.
This article explains how to make an injury record, what makes an injury recordable, and the steps you can take to ensure accurate and updated recordkeeping.
What Is Injury Recordkeeping, and Why Does It Matter?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers in the private sector prepare and maintain records on any work-related injuries or illnesses. The requirement of injury recordkeeping came about so employers could track and record workplace hazards and correct them to enhance the safety of the workplace and employees. Every business should track work-related injuries and illnesses so they can make improvements to their current systems.
OSHA also uses the collected injury information and data to develop new safety and health rules and standards. The data helps OSHA direct program activities and evaluate their enforcement program’s effectiveness and if any changes need to be made.
Injuries or illnesses that need to be recorded include those considered “work-related.” It is considered work-related if the work environment contributed to the injury or sickness.
It’s essential to store any injury records somewhere safe so you can analyze the data and make necessary changes to keep your workers safe in the future. You can identify problem areas to correct hazards, preventing injuries or illnesses. Accurate recordkeeping also allows you to improve your safety and health programs.
Employees aware of the potential for injuries, illnesses and hazards in the workplace are more likely to follow safety protocols and report any workplace hazards. OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics also use this information to report trends and for inspection targeting programs.
Keep your injury records somewhere they won’t get lost, stolen or damaged, such as in a safe at the worksite. You should keep records of injury and illness for at least five years, especially since OSHA requires that employers post a summary of the injuries and illnesses that occur in a workplace each year. Current or former employees or their representatives can also request copies of records, so employers need to store them in a safe, accessible location and keep records updated.
A Comprehensive Guide to Injury Recordkeeping
Keeping track of injuries or illnesses that occur in the workplace is essential to allow you to make changes to improve the safety of your workers. Here are steps you can use for injury recording keeping:
1. Determine if Recordkeeping Rules Apply to Your Business
Generally, OSHA requires that all employers must record workplace injuries and illnesses. However, businesses with less than 10 employees and those in the industrial industry that work in low-hazard environments are the few that don’t have to record workplace injuries or illnesses routinely.
2. Use the Proper Forms
OSHA has three forms you must use when recording a workplace illness or injury:
- OSHA 301
- OSHA 300A
- OSHA 300
These forms record injuries and illnesses, provide a summary of the event and create a continuous log of these injuries or illnesses for future use and reporting. Using the correct forms ensures your compliance with OSHA and allows you to keep accurate records that can help you improve your worksite moving forward.
3. Understand the Employment Status of All Your Workers
You must record any work-related injuries or illnesses for any full-time, part-time or seasonal workers. You also have to record the same information for workers you regularly supervise who aren’t on your payroll, including leased and temporary employees.
Ensuring you know the status of your employees and who you must record in the event of an injury or illness allows you to be prepared, enabling you to comply with OSHA recordkeeping and maintain accurate records.
4. Determine if Injuries or Illnesses Are Work-Related
Before you report an injury or illness, you first must determine if an employee became injured or got ill at the worksite and if it’s related to their work. If your employee was injured during a work event or was exposed to something at a work site that caused them to become sick, it’s likely that the instance is work-related and should be reported.
5. Use OSHA Criteria to Determine if the Case Is Recordable
OSHA has created general recording criteria to help employers determine what injuries or illnesses they need to record. You should record work-related injuries or illnesses that result in the following:
- Time off
- Limited work
- Medical treatment that goes beyond what first-aid can remedy
- Transfer to another job
- Loss of consciousness
According to OSHA, if an employee’s injury or illness meets any of the above criteria, it’s a recordable case.
6. Decide if the Case Is New or a Continuation
New cases must meet the following criteria:
- An employee has not had the same type of injury or illness to the same part of the body
- An employee experienced an injury or sickness in the same area or body part but has completely healed from their previous injury or illness
Any case that doesn’t meet the above requirements is considered a continuation.
7. Check if the Case Qualifies as a “Privacy Case”
OSHA considers some injuries or illnesses “privacy cases,” and the employer must keep the employee’s identity private. If your case is a privacy case, you can’t enter your employee’s name on the 300 logs. Instead of entering the employee’s name, you would enter “privacy case” into the space.
8. Record Specific Case Types
Specific case types must be recorded, even if they don’t meet the other requirements for recordkeeping. Specific case types that need to be recorded include:
- Injuries that result from a needle stick or cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated
- Times when employees had to be removed from the job site due to over-exposure to hazards, referred to as a medical removal
- Work-related exposure to tuberculosis
- Work-related hearing losses of a specific decibel shift, resulting in a total 25-decibel change over audiometric zero
9. Report All Severe Injuries
OSHA requires employers to report all severe injuries, including hospitalization, fatalities, amputation or loss of an eye. OSHA requires that you verbally report an employee’s death within eight hours. You must report other severe injuries that resulted from a work-related accident, event or exposure within 24 hours.
Let Hazmat School Help Improve Your Workplace Safety
Keeping your workers safe is essential for any business, regardless of industry. Hazmat School can help you navigate OSHA safety requirements to ensure that you can keep accurate records of injuries and illnesses and improve your workplace to prevent future incidents.
We offer online training solutions to help you create a workplace safety culture and meet your OSHA compliance goals. We make employee training affordable, and our remote trainers are available 24/7, so you can start training on your schedule. You and your employees can complete training at your own pace, and you’ll receive a certificate as soon as you or your employees finish the required courses. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you facilitate a safe work environment!