injured worker being removed from a trench

Injury & Illness Reporting & Recordkeeping

OSHA requires that certain companies report workplace-related injuries and illnesses that occur throughout the year. This might seem a little overwhelming at first. “Do I have to report?” “How do I report?” “What kinds of injuries have to be reported?” “What am I required to do with the report?” Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion.

All companies covered by the OSH Act are required to orally report to OSHA any fatalities or multiple-person (3 or more) hospitalizations due to a work-related incident within 8 hours by telephone or in person. You can contact your local area office or call OSHA’s toll free central phone number: (800) 321-6742. There are only two exemptions from OSHA’s Recordkeeping Regulation (29 CFR 1904). If you have fewer than 10 employees all year long or are listed as a partially exempt industry (certain low hazard industries such as retail, service, financial, real estate, etc.) you don’t have to keep injury and illness records. Everyone else is required to.

If you’re required to keep records you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the following OSHA forms:

  • Form 300 – Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (a running log of all the incidents throughout the year)
  • Form 300A – Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (a summary of all the incidents that occurred throughout the year and this is the form that must be posted in your workplace from February 1st through April 30th)
  • Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report (used for recording individual injuries or illnesses as they happen)

These forms can be found here.

The types of incidents you have to report are any injuries or illnesses that can be considered directly work-related. OSHA defines work-related as “an event or exposure in the work environment [which] caused or contributed to the condition. In addition, if an event or exposure in the work environment significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness, this is also considered work-related.” Reportable injuries and illnesses include those which result in death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, loss of consciousness or medical treatment beyond first aid. Even if an injury or illness does not meet those requirements but is diagnosed by a health care professional as significant and work-related, you need to report it.

You are required to post the Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses prominently in your workplace from February 1st through April 30th for the previous calendar year. The forms do not get submitted to OSHA unless they specifically ask you for them. You may also receive a request from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for your injury and illness information with which you must comply. In addition, if an OSHA inspector is completing a health and safety inspection of your workplace, they may ask for your records and you must provide them. Keep copies of all your records for at least 5 years.

It should be noted that OSHA has proposed changes to the Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Requirements. These proposed changes have not taken effect yet; they are still reviewing comments on the new rule. Some of the proposed changes are: using the NAICS rather than SIC, reporting all in-patient hospitalizations (rather than multiple) within 8 hours, and reporting all work-related amputations within 24 hours.

Finally, it’s important to keep up with these reporting requirements and analyze the information to institute changes that are needed in your workplace to improve the overall health and safety of the company and its most valuable asset, your employees.


This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.