To ensure employees remain safe in the workplace, the federal agency known as the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, mandates that certain employers implement specific safety measures and follow safety procedures and protocols if they wish to operate a business in the United States.
Part of this requirement involves completing OSHA forms every year such as the OSHA Form 300A. The deadline to fill out and post the OSHA 300A form for 2012 is quickly approaching. Employers that are mandated by this requirement have until April 30, 2013 to comply.
OSHA 300A requirements
The OSHA 300A form, or the Injury and Illness Log as it’s known, is essentially a transparent record of all workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities that occurred in a given workplace location during the period of February 1 to April 30.
OSHA defines work injuries, illness or fatalities as events that happen in the workplace that either caused or contributed to an employee’s health condition. Workplace events that aggravate an employee’s preexisting condition are also included.
OSHA stipulates that the log is signed, certified and displayed in the common area of a workplace by April 30. Current employees, former employees and their representatives are authorized to access the log as well.
Specific 300A log requirements
The log requirements are very specific. Some requirements that employers are mandated to list include but are not limited to:
- All work-related fatalities
- All work-related injuries including cuts, fractures, sprains or amputations
- All work-related illnesses that are classified as chronic or acute such as skin diseases, respiratory illnesses or poisoning
- All work-related injuries or illnesses diagnosed by a doctor or healthcare professional
- All work-related injuries or illnesses that result in time off work, restricted duty or job transfer of an employee
Not all employers are required to complete the OSHA form 300A log. Employers who have 10 or fewer employees are exempt from the requirement.
Employers in certain industries are also exempt because their business operations are considered low risk for safety purposes. These include employers in the fields of retail, insurance and real estate among others.
However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics often selects exempt employees to participate as well.
Ensuring workplace safety
In tandem with other workplace safety protocols, the OSHA 300A form recordkeeping mandate was implemented to help employers, employees and OSHA evaluate safety in the workplace, increase safety for workers and help reduce workplace hazards.
Many other protocols, both at the federal and state levels, are in place to ensure workers remain safe on the job.