• OSHAs New Recordkeeping Rule Takes Effect
  • May 19, 2003 | Author: Tod T. Morrow
  • Law Firm: Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLP - Canton Office
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its recordkeeping regulations, effective January 1, 2002. The revised regulation introduces new and simplified recordkeeping forms. Specifically, OSHA Form 300 ("Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses") replaces OSHA Form 200 and OSHA Form 301 ("Injury and Illness Incident Report") replaces OSHA Form 101. The revised rule also introduces OSHA Form 300A ("Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses"), which must be certified by a company executive and posted annually from February 1 to April 30. Under the old rule, an employer was only obligated to post the annual summary for only one month (February), and there was no certification requirement.

    In addition to utilizing new recordkeeping forms, the revised regulation makes the following significant changes:

    • Establishes a single set of recording criteria for both work-related injuries and work-related illnesses. (The former rule required employers to record all illnesses, regardless of severity.)

    • Requires employers to record a work-related injury or illness resulting in one of the following: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or diagnosis of a significant injury or illness by a physician or other licensed health care professional.

    • Adds further exceptions to the definition of work-relatedness to limited recording of cases involving eating and drinking of food and beverage, common colds and flu, blood donations, exercise programs, mental illnesses, parking lot injuries, etc.

    • Clarifies the recording of "light duty" or restricted work cases. Requires employers to record cases when the injured or ill employee is restricted from "routine job functions," which are defined as work activities the employee regularly performs at least once weekly.

    • Requires employers to record all needlestick and sharps injuries involving contamination by another person's blood or other potentially infectious materials.

    • Eliminates the term "lost workdays" and requires recording of days away from work or days restricted or days transferred to another job. Calls for employers to count calendar days rather than workdays.

    • Requires employers to establish a procedure for employees to report injuries and illnesses.

    • Guarantees employees and former employees access to their individual OSHA 301 forms. Employee representatives will be provided access certain sections of the OSHA 301 form.

    • Protects employee privacy for certain types of injuries.

    Although the "employee access" provisions may prove problematic, the bulk of the revised standard provides much needed clarification and simplification of recordkeeping requirements.