May 2012 - OSHA Recordkeeping
OSHA recordkeeping affects all employers. Although, there is a list that partially exempts low hazard industries; if an employer has an employee who meets the reporting criteria for a catastrophe or a fatality, then the employer must report the incident regardless of exemption. The employer must make a notification by calling the 24 hour hotline listed on the Nevada OSHA poster.
If an employer is selected at random by OSHA and Bureau of Labor Statistics to participate in the annual recordkeeping survey, the employer will receive official notification in the mail. It does not matter if the employer is on the partially exempt list or that the employer has less than 11 employees; if an employer has been selected, they must participate. Failure to participate can result in a sizable monetary penalty. Occasionally, some employers are selected in consecutive years to participate in the survey. Again, this is a random process. However, the smaller the pool of employers in a given industry, the more frequently an employer may be selected to participate. The selection process is random and OSHA or BLS employees do not hand select the participants.
For employers who have more than 11 employees at any time during the calendar year and are not on the partially exempt list, maintaining an OSHA log 300 is mandatory; even if your organization has no reportable or recordable injuries or illnesses. The 300 Log is available on-line from the OSHA web site at http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html, and is downloadable to whoever needs it. It comes with instructions for completion of the document, as well as copies of the Annual Summary, Form 300A; and the Employees Report of Injury or Illness, Form 301. Additional information regarding Recordkeeping can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the OSHA Recordkeeping page. However, if you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Safety Consultation and Training Section (SCATS) office for clarification or additional assistance. It seems there are always those cases that appear to be in the grey area. Upon request, SCATS also offers on-site Recordkeeping classes to Nevada employers.
SCATS recommends that employers read 29 CFR 1904. This federal standard outlines the requirements for OSHA Recordkeeping. 29 CFR 1904 is available on the OSHA web site. This particular document is one of the easiest to read, as it is written in a question and answer format and plain English; no legalese.
In closing, don’t forget that OSHA Recordkeeping and Workmen’s Compensation are two different things. You may think there are similarities and on the surface and that may be true, but when you dig a little deeper, you will find that what may be a workman’s comp case, may in fact not be a recordable case for OSHA. If in doubt, call the nearest SCATS office for clarification.