Thousands of people are injured every year within the workplace. Even though it is nearly impossible to avoid all work-related injuries, we can try to limit the amount of injuries that are possible through training, education, and employee assistance. This is where OSHA comes into play. For those of us familiar with OSHA, we understand that OSHA is an organization that strives to promote both safety and health within the workplace. Among the various safety standards outlined by OSHA, one important component is the OSHA 300 log or “log of work related injuries and illnesses.” The usage of this log is essential towards injury and illness tracking among different business organizations.
What is the OSHA 300 Log?
The OSHA 300 log is a running log that contains a list of all injuries encountered at a workplace facility within a year’s time. The OSHA log always runs on a 1 year calendar basis and starts over each year. When injuries or illnesses are logged onto the OSHA 300, the injury and/or illness along with severity need to be outlined. The data recorded within the 300 log is then compiled with all other 300 logs yearly by OSHA to look for similarities and differences between injuries and illnesses of different types of businesses in varying locations. One of the key practices regarding the OSHA 300 log is that all businesses with the United States use and accurately record data so data collection remains consistent from state to state.
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What Types of Injuries and Illnesses need to be Recorded?
Almost any type of work-related injury or illness is recordable onto the 300 log. However, there are a few limitations on whom and what can be recorded. First, any business employing more than 10 employees and who is not partially exempt must record. However, for partially exempt businesses operating in low hazard establishments such as retail, real estate or insurance are subject to differing recording methods outlined in OSHA appendix A.
In order to understand what constitutes a recordable illness or injury, please take a look at the detailed list below.
· Any work-related fatalities
· All work-related injuries or illnesses that result in missing days of work, require a restricted level of work or change in work position, cause a loss in consciousness, or any condition that requires medical treatment beyond that of first aid.
· Any sort of work-related diagnoses from a licensed physician or health professional.
· Work-related injuries that involve but are not limited to cuts, fractures, sprains, or amputations.
· Work-related acute or chronic illnesses such as respiratory disorders or skin diseases.
The reasoning behind the need for injury and illness recording is clear. In order to protect employees throughout the United States, OSHA first needs to understand what injuries and illnesses are occurring most frequently. Once this is done, OSHA is able to identify or amend the appropriate safety standards to provide further protection to employees against such hazards. This is why it is key for businesses to provide accurate 300 logs with consistent methods of recording so results can be compared with one another. In a nutshell, OSHA’s 300 recording logs are a helpful tool in the mission towards employee safety within the workplace.