The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is one of the most important establishments in the history of the United States. Since its creation in 1970, OSHA has played a significant role in lowering the death rate for American workers from 38 to 14 a day over the last 4 decades. However, with only a few thousand workers, OSHA is not able to inspect every workplace in America. To help maintain accountability, the administration requires employers to maintain accurate records of injuries and illnesses suffered by their employees.
When Does an Employer Need to Report Injuries & Illness?
Most employers with more than 10 employees must keep a record of any serious injury or illness sustained by employees. If an injury is minor and only requires on-site first aid, then it does not need to be reported.
What injuries should be recorded by employers?
- Injuries resulting in a loss of consciousness
- Injuries that cause workers to miss work
- Injuries that cause work restriction or a change of jobs
- Any diagnoses of cancer or other serious diseases
- Broken, fractured, or cracked bones or teeth
- Punctured eardrums
- Incidents involving needle-sticks, medical removal, hearing loss, or tuberculosis
- Any injury that requires more care than basic first aid
How Long Should Records Be Maintained & When Should They Be Reported?
Employers should maintain workplace accident records for at least five years. Between February and April of each year, OSHA requires employers to post a summary of injuries for review by employees. To create their reports, employers should use OSHA forms 300, 300A, or 301. Employers must update these records, even if they learn of an illness or injury years after it happens. Notably, employers should post a 300A form even if no employees suffered injuries while working during a given year. OSHA requires employers in high-risk injuries to electronically submit their injury and illness reports.
If you were hurt in a workplace accident due to a known hazard, call Arnold & Itkin LLP immediately. You deserve to have your losses compensated by your employer's insurance policy, and we're the firm that has a track record for making that happen. Call (888) 493-1629 today.