OSHA (the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires organizations to keep their work environments safe and healthy for personnel. Any enterprise must comply with all OSHA regulations, but not if they are freelancers or independent contractors. If your business had 100 or fewer staff members during the past year, you’re not required to file illness or injury reports. However, you will still have to comply with all other OSHA Regulations.
OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
Employers with ten or more employees are required to document serious work-related illnesses and injuries, while minor injuries that require only first aid don’t need to be recorded. The recorded information helps OSHA, employers, and staff members understand industry hazards, evaluate workplace safety, and implement staff protections to eliminate and reduce hazards.
The records of serious injuries and illnesses must be maintained for at least five years. Between February and April each year, employers are required to post a summary of the illnesses and injuries recorded the previous year. In case of a fatality, the incident must be reported within eight hours. In case of any hospitalization, loss of an eye, or amputation, it must be reported within 24 hours.
From the ITA launch page, you can access the ITA (Injury Tracking Application), where you can provide your OSHA Form 300A information.
OSHA’s Regulation Update and How It Affects Businesses
According to OSHA’s 29 CFR 1904 regulation, employers with ten or more employees are required to keep records of fatalities, illnesses, and injuries using forms 300, 300A, and 301. These records must be maintained for a period of five years and be available to employee representatives and OSHA inspectors upon request. In 2016, the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness Rule was approved, which required employers to inform their staff of their right to report illness and injuries without retaliation. It also requires employers to establish procedures for reporting that will not discourage or deter staff from reporting, as well as to avoid programs that may be interpreted as retaliatory.
Companies with 250 employees or less in some high-risk industries are required to submit occupational injury and illness data electronically via ITA. This requirement allows OSHA to access establishment-specific data to identify the industries and workplaces where people are subject to the greatest health and safety risks. The requirement was intended to remind or nudge employers to improve their workplace safety to avoid scrutiny by the public and OSHA.
OSHA’s Final Rule
The final rule by OSHA doesn’t affect employers’ obligations to submit their forms on an annual basis or to comply with the anti-retaliation provisions of the electronic reporting rule. OSHA has started using the information from Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) to target their enforcement efforts and will continue to do so. Under the final rule, employers must also submit their EINs (Employer Identification Numbers) in connection with their Form 300As. EINs are required to allow the Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA to reduce duplicative reporting and coordinate their data collection efforts. March 2, 2020 is the first compliance deadline for EIN submission.
Illness and injury reporting and recordkeeping is an important component of OSHA compliance, and employers should continuously review their recordkeeping processes to make sure they satisfy OSHA’s regulations. When reviewing your records, take your inspections a step further with The Checker Pro Software, which allows you to create and conduct inspection processes, safety reviews, and compliance audits.