What is the OSHA 300 Log?

Workplace illnesses and injuries are probably the last things employers want to think about, but they must be prepared in the event of a workplace incident. From what the form is to what incidents employers need to record, read what employers need to know about the OSHA 300 Log.

Defined: What is OSHA and Form 300?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. government under Labor. Congress created OSHA from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to ensure health and safety standards for employee working conditions.

OSHA’s mission is to aid in prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. OSHA also sets and enforces standards by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Certain employers must prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log. Businesses with more than 10 employees must maintain OSHA injury and illness records unless OSHA classifies the business as exempt. If you have less than 10 employees during the year, you do not have to keep illness and injury records.

What Information Needs to be Recorded on the OSHA 300 Log?

According to OSHA, information that should be logged on the OSHA 300 Log includes work-related deaths and every work-related injury or illness that “involves loss of consciousness, restricted work activity or job transfer, days away from work, or medical treatment beyond first aid.” Additionally, work-related illnesses and injuries that a physician diagnoses should also be included.

If an incident does occur, employers must decide if the case meets OSHA’s record-keeping guidelines within seven calendar days of when the employer receives information about an incident. From there, the employer must establish the following, according to OSHA:

  1. Whether the incident is a new case or an existing one

  2. Whether the incident is work-related or not

  3. Which form needs to be filled out as the injury and illness report, either OSHA’s 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report or an equivalent form

For more information about specific instructions and to view the OSHA 300 log, visit OSHA’s website.

OSHA Requirements for Employers

By law, employers must provide their workers with a workplace that doesn’t have hazards and must follow all OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct any known safety and health issues in the workplace. OSHA requires employers to eliminate hazards by making possible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, earplugs, etc.

When necessary, employers must:

  1. Provide safety training to workers in a language they understand

  2. Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses

  3. Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling

  4. Provide personal protective equipment at no cost to workers

  5. Provide hearing exams and other tests when required by OSHA standards

  6. Post OSHA citations and annually post injury and illness summary data where workers can see them

  7. Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace fatality

  8. Notify OSHA within 24 hours of all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, etc

  9. Display the official OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster

  10. Not retaliate or discriminate against workers for using their rights under the law

What are OSHA’s Guidelines for Work-Relatedness?

According to OSHA, “An injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a preexisting condition.”

The following are examples of incidents that do not qualify as work-related cases. Therefore they do not need to be reported in the OSHA 300 Log, according to OSHA’s website:

  1. At the time of the injury or illness, the employee was present in the work environment as a general public member.

  2. The injury or illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but solely from a non-work-related event or exposure outside of work.

  3. The injury or illness results from voluntary participation in a wellness program or a medical or recreational activity such as blood donation, flu shot, exercise class, or company sports game.

  4. The injury or illness results from an employee eating or drinking their own food or food brought to work. So, for example, if an employee chokes on food while in the employer’s establishment and develops an injury, the case wouldn’t be considered work-related.

  5. The injury or illness is caused by a car accident on a company parking lot during the employee\’s commute to or from work.

  6. Mental illness is only considered work-related when an employee voluntarily provides an opinion from a physician or other licensed healthcare professional with appropriate training and experience (like a psychiatrist), who testifies that the employee\’s mental illness is work-related.

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