By: Kristin VanSoest
Thee rules regarding OSHA recordkeeping and recordables seem to be an ongoing headache and concern for companies. The following is a “cheat sheet” of ways to get these questions answered:
Strict definitions of the OSHA 300 Log:
Work environment-establishment or other locations...present...as a condition of employment. (Basically, the injury has to be related to the current job).
Therefore no recording if:
- During commute (parking lot)
- Present as "general public"
- REPORT MEDICAL TREATMENT
- DON'T REPORT FIRST AID
- What is First Aid?
- Using a nonprescription medication at a nonprescription strength.
- Administering tetanus immunizations
- Cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin.
- Using wound coverings such as bandages, gauze pads, etc.; or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips
- Using Hot or Cold Therapy
- Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.
- Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim. (e.g., splints, slings, neck collars, back boards, etc.)
- Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister.
- Using eye patches
- Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab.
- Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means
- Using finger guards
- Using Massages (physical therapy or chiropractic treatment are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes)
- Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress.
- Real Life (hurt at work or play?)
- Work or Home...You decide
- Preexisting condition ...
- No medical treatment required BEFORE the workplace exposure...
- Restrictions that would not have happened except for work activities
- Recording Injuries and Illnesses
- You are not required to record injuries and illnesses if:
- At the time of the injury or illness, the employee was present in the work environment as a member of the general public.
- The injury or illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work related event or exposure that occurs outside of the work environment.
- The injury or illness results solely from the voluntary participation in a wellness program or in medical, fitness, or recreational activity such as blood donation, physical examination, flu shot, exercise class, racquetball, or baseball
- The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee eating, drinking, or preparing food or drink for personal consumption.
- The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee doing personal tasks at the establishment outside of the employees assigned working hours.
- The injury or illness is solely the result of personal grooming, self medication for a non-work-related condition, or is intentionally self-inflicted
- The injury or illness is caused by a motor vehicle accident and occurs on a company parking lot or company access road while the employee is commuting to or from work
- The illness is the common cold or flu
- The illness is a mental illness. Mental illness will not be considered work-related unless the employee voluntarily provides the employer with an opinion from a physician or other licensed health care professional with appropriate training and experience stating that the employee has a mental illness that is work related.
OSHA's Basic Rule:
- The DOCTOR's opinion counts most!
- What if the employee is told to stay home and yet comes to work?
- Employees must have a work release from their physician to come back to work. Always use the original doctor's statement, for example, if the doctor says the employee must miss 3 days of work, and he doesn't miss any because he continues to work, you count the 3 days on the log regardless. If an employee returns to work without being released, you may send that employee home.
- How do you count LOST and RESTRICTED work days?
- There is a cap at 180 days. If the restriction goes beyond that, you may stop counting. Always count calendar days.
- Doctors are important to the record keeping process
- Restricted work days are recorded.
- You keep the employee away from scheduled work,
- Doctor recommends an employee not perform a certain routine function,
- Routine functions are tasks that employees do at least once per week
Significant changes from 200 to 300:
- Changes regarding lost/restricted work
- Change in terminology
- Eliminates "lost workdays"
- Focuses on "days away" or "days restricted or transferred"
- Includes new regulations for counting days
- Rely on calendar days instead of workdays
- Changes to employer requirements
- Employers must establish procedure for employees to report injuries and illnesses
- Employers must tell employees how to report
- Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who report
- With change of ownership, seller must turn over OSHA records to buyer
- Changes to employee rights
- Privacy rights (i.e.: 300A, summary sheet)
- Prohibits employers from entering an individual employee's name on Form 300 for certain types of injuries/illnesses
- Sexual assaults
- HIV infections
- Mental illness
- Provides employers the right not to describe the nature of sensitive injuries where the employee's identity would be known
- Gives employee access to portions of Form 301 relevant to the employee they represent
- Requires employers to remove employees' names before providing data to persons not provided access under the rule (i.e.: lawyer)
- Requires the annual summary to be posted for three months (Feb. 1 to April 30) instead of one
- Requires certification of annual summary by a company executive
- Changes reporting of fatalities and catastrophes to exclude some motor carrier and motor vehicle incidents
- Allows all forms to be kept on computer equipment or at alternate location
- Form 300A
- Requires increased employer review of data and additional data on the average employment/hours worked at establishment
- Changes result in higher quality data, but more time and cost to employer
- Changes to the definitions of medical treatment and first aid (will result in more cases being recorded)
Areas of Potential Cost Increases:
- Change to the criteria for recording needle stick and sharps injury (will result in more cases being recorded)
- Increased employee involvement
- Employee privacy protections
Bloodborne Pathogen Standard:
An employer can choose to keep a separate sharps injury log to satisfy the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1030, in addition to recording injuries on the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.