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Recordkeeping Overview

Employers, unless partially exempted as a small business or low-hazard industry, are required to keep records of occupational deaths, injuries, and illness under the OSH Act of 1970. OSHA uses the records to direct programs, measure its performance, and help inspectors focus their efforts on hazards in the workplace.

Accurate records can also help employers to develop safety and health initiatives tailored to their individual workplaces.

OSHA requires employers to save the OSHA 300 Log, any privacy case logs, and the OSHA 301 Incident Report forms for five years. You must also update the 300 Log to reflect any changes within that five year period. Employers need to be able to produce accurate records within four hours of a request by an authorized government representative.

In a nutshell, employers must record injuries and illness that are:

  1. Work-related,
  2. New, and
  3. Meet the following criteria:
    • Death
    • Days away from work
    • Job transfer or restricted work
    • Medical treatment beyond first aid
    • Any loss of consciousness
    • Significant injury as diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health case professional

Since each situation is unique to each establishment, determining the recordability of each case can be a challenge. View sample scenarios that may help you make the determination on whether your particular case is recordable under the OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping regulations.