OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting: Safety Topics - January 2020 - Week 4


Accurate OSHA recordkeeping and prompt injury reporting helps EHS professionals and operations managers evaluate workplace safety, understand the hazards, and protect workers by reducing or eliminating future workplace injuries or illnesses.

This week we will discuss an overview of OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements along with some important definitions.

Monday - Recordkeeping Requirements 

Many employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries or illnesses. Minor injuries requiring only first aid do not need to be recorded. Recordkeeping requirements are as follows:

  • Employers must maintain records of work-related injuries or illnesses for at least 5 years.
  • Between the months of February and April, employers are required to post a summary of injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year.
  • If requested, employers must provide copies of these work-related injuries and illnesses records to current and former employees or their representatives.

Tuesday - Recordable Injury or Illness

Classifying an injury for OSHA reporting can be challenging for those unfamiliar with the classification process. The following describes the criteria for an OSHA recordable injury:

  • Any work-related fatality.
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job.
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, punctured eardrums, and fractured or cracked bones or teeth.

There are also special recording criteria for work-related cases involving tuberculosis, hearing loss, needle sticks, sharps injuries, and injuries requiring medical removal of an object.

Wednesday - First Aid

It is very important to understand the difference between a first aid injury and a recordable injury for recordkeeping purposes. The list below provides some guidelines for classifying a first aid incident:

  • Injury is treatable with over the counter medication at the prescribed dosage.
  • Administering tetanus immunizations.
  • Wound coverings such as bandages or gauze pads that are enough to treat the injury.
  • Hot or cold therapy that is suitable for the injury.
  • Using any non-rigid means of support.
  • Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure or drain fluids from a blister.
  • Using eye patches.
  • Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or cotton swabs.
  • Removing splinters or foreign materials from other parts of the body using only irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means.
  • Using finger guards.
  • Using massage.
  • Drinking fluids for relief from heat stress.

If these steps are used to treat an injury and no medical care is required, the injury is classified as a first aid incident and does not require reporting.

Thursday - Severe Injury Reporting

Experiencing a severe injury in the workplace is the last thing anyone wants. However, in the unfortunate event that it does occur, it’s important to know the OSHA reporting requirements:

  • Employers must report any worker fatality within 8 hours.
  • Employers must report any amputation, loss of an eye, or hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours.

Friday - Discussion 

In your group, discuss the reasons why reporting injuries and practicing good recordkeeping is important in your workplace. Do you think your workplace has good recordkeeping practices? Do you know where to go to find information on previous injuries at your workplace?

For more information on OSHA workplace injury recordkeeping, visit: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/.


Tags: safety topics , injury prevention , osha compliance ,

Subscribe to Updates

Weekly Safety Topics and Coming Events