Reporting and Recordkeeping for OSHA Compliance
As part of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA is tasked with establishing and enforcing standards to protect workers from unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. A key part of an employer’s responsibility under OSHA regulations is prompt and accurate reporting of incidents leading to employee illness, injury, or death.
What types of incidents need to be reported?
According to OSHA guidelines, there are several types of work-related incidents employers must report, including:
- Fatalities that occur onsite or while on the job.
- Injury leading to the development of cancer, broken bones or teeth, punctured eardrums, or chronic, irreversible diseases.
- Injuries or illness resulting in a loss of consciousness, missed work, job transfer, or restricted activity.
Employers are also required to report other health and safety related incidents, such as those that cause hearing loss or necessitate medical removal. Keep in mind, there are special recording criteria involved for certain types of incidents, and it’s essential for employers to understand all the nuances.
For example, a fatality resulting from a work-related incident must be reported to OSHA within eight hours, while inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss must be reported within 24 hours.
What OSHA forms must be maintained?
The OSHA incident report forms most employers need following an incident are Forms 300, 300-A, and 301. Form 300 is the actual log and covers most of the information regarding a workplace incident, including the type of injury, when it occurred, the name of the employee involved, and how many, if any, workdays the employee will miss.
Form 300-A serves as a summary of work-related illnesses and injuries. An employer must complete form 300-A at the end of each year and post it in the workplace from February 1 to April 30.
Form 301 includes information about the cause of a workplace incident.
OSHA requires employers to store these forms for five years and keep reporting up to date with any new incidents.
What are the penalties for failure to report?
Failure to properly report workplace incidents results in expensive fines.
The minimum penalty fee for failing to report a serious injury is $1,036 per violation and a maximum of $14,502 per violation. Failing to report an other-than-serious incident could result in a minimum penalty of $0 and a maximum of $14,502. Willful or repeated incidents come with a minimum fine of $10,360 and a maximum of $145,027. Failing to abate results in a fee of $14,502 per day after the abatement date.
Gravity based penalties (GBP) are another category of fines related to repeated other-than-serious regulatory violations. According to OSHA, “For a repeated other-than-serious violation that otherwise would have no initial penalty, a GBP penalty of $414 shall be proposed for the first repeated violation, $1,036 for the second repeated violation, and $2,072 for a third repetition.”
To avoid workplace injury and penalty fines, it’s essential to follow all OSHA guidelines. Even with extensive safety protocols, it can be difficult to avoid workplace injuries entirely. Report these incidents when they occur, and consider partnering with professionals to help prepare your manufacturing facility for OSHA inspection.