OSHA requires certain covered employers to keep a record of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. Businesses covered by this requirement must complete OSHA Form 300 to be in compliance with the law. Recent changes in the regulations governing the Form 300 log have caused a lot of confusion about what employers are exempt from the requirement, if electronic submission requirements apply or not, and what the latest record maintenance and posting requirements are.
Failure to properly comply with this OSHA requirement could result in expensive fines. Here are three tips for making sure you complete OSHA Form 300 properly.
Tip 1: Are You Exempt?
The rules about what industries are exempt from the Form 300 log requirements have changed significantly. Under the old rule, employers in certain industries such as retail trade, finance, insurance, and real estate were partially exempt from the requirement. The new rule uses a completely different system to determine what industries are partially exempt.
The first step is to make sure you are under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Employers in some states that have their own state occupational health and safety departments are exempt from OSHA’s federal rules and instead must look to their state agencies for the reporting requirements.
If your organization is under the jurisdiction of OSHA you will need to know your company’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. Once you know the NAICS code for your company you will need to look up the code on the OSHA table to determine if the organization is exempt from the Form 300 reporting requirements.
You can look up your NAICS code by clicking here and using the search feature in the U.S. Census Bureau’s NAICS page.
You can see the OSHA table of which industries are partially exempt from the Form 300 requirements by clicking here and searching by your NAICS code. This fact sheet will also give you additional guidance on properly completing Form 300.
Tip 2: Make Sure You Know the Current Deadline for Electronic Submission
Once you know that you are not exempt from the Form 300 requirements, you will need to know how and when to submit the form. The new regulation requires employers to electronically submit Form 300, but the deadline has been extended.
Currently, the deadline for 2016 occupational illness and injury reports (Form 300) to be electronically submitted is December 1, 2017. The original deadline of July 1, 2017 was extended because of the delay in getting the reporting website up and by the review of the regulation by the Trump administration.
The 2017 reports will need to be electronically filed by July 1, 2018.
Employers who have 250 or more employees and employers who are not partially exempt from this requirement as discussed above, must meet these deadlines or electronically filing Form 300 (as well as Form 300A and Form 301).
OSHA is now ready to accept electronic submissions and the 2016 data can be reported anytime prior to December 1, 2017.
Tip 3: Review Maintenance and Posting Requirements
OSHA occupational injury and illness reporting requirements go beyond simply requiring employers to file a report. Employers are also under strict recordkeeping and posting requirements.
Employers must keep records for 5 years at the worksite. These records must be made available to current and former employees, or their representatives. If there are multiple worksites, each worksite will need to maintain copies of the injury and illness logs for the full five years.
Every February through April, employers are also required to post summaries of the illnesses and injuries from the previous year. It is critical that employers only post a summary of the data, because posting identifiable medical information could be a violation of HIPAA and subject the employer to sanctions under the regulations governing the confidentiality of medical information.
Complying with OSHA injury and illness reporting requirements can seem overwhelming. But, if you follow the tips above and give yourself plenty of time to prepare the required forms you will be able to meet the reporting deadline and keep your organization in compliance.