OSHA 300 log: What is it? Why do companies have to fill it out?
The OSHA 300 log, formally known as the “Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses”, is used to classify work-related injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case. The log itself is really a listing of employee injuries, and any contract or temporary employee injuries that happened during that calendar year. So, if you have temps working for you and they are injured at your work place, you are required to put that on your OSHA 300 Log.
The OSHA log differs from workers’ compensation loss runs in that the OSHA log goes on a calendar year basis. Your work comp policy may go from July 1st to July 1st, but the OSHA log is always on a calendar-year basis.
If everybody has Workers’ Compensation Loss Runs why do we have to do OSHA record keeping?
The short answer: Because OSHA says so.
The long answer: OSHA wanted a consistent way to track and measure injury rates throughout the country for various industries – the OSHA log allows them to do that. OSHA wants to capture the injury data from all the different companies in the U.S. They don’t simply rely on workers’ compensation records because workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state and there can be differences in the individual laws – what’s considered an injury, how much is paid, etc. But, with OSHA record keeping, it’s supposed to be consistent from state to state across America. This is important because it allows OSHA to look at a company in Georgia and very directly compare it to a company in California, as far as injury rates are concerned.
What must be put on the OSHA 300 log?
Cases must be logged on the OSHA 300 Log if:
- There is a death
- Days away from work
- Job transfer or restriction
- Loss of consciousness
- Other recordable case
Most of these are easy to make a determination on. The one that is open for a lot of debate is the “other recordable case.” We can tell you from experience, that if a company is skimping or putting too much on their OSHA 300 log, most of the time it’s due to the “other recordable case” and how a company decides to interpret some of those standards that OSHA has set for this category.
It’s important to know which companies are required to fill out the OSHA 300 log, what you should be putting on your log and why putting too much on your log can really hurt you. We will discuss all of these issues in upcoming blog posts. Be sure to check back frequently, or subscribe to our RSS Feed to automatically be updated on when new articles are published.
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