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OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
September 20, 1985
The Honorable Rudy Boschwitz
United States Senator
210 Bremer Bldg.
419 N. Robert Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101
Re: Donald Kottschade
Dear Senator Boschwitz:
Thank you for your letter of August 27 which contained a letter from Mr. Donald Kottschade. Mr. Kottschade expressed concern that the injury suffered by a friend had not been reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) by Champion International Mills, Bonner, Montana.
The requirement for reporting fatalities and/or injuries to OSHA (29 CFR 1904.8) states that fatalities involving one or more employees and/or catastrophes involving injuries to five or more employees must be reported. In the matter described by Mr. Kottschade only one employee was injured. There was, therefore, no requirement to report it.
The company would have been required to record the accident on the OSHA 200 Form, the log of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses; however, such entries do not have to be reported to OSHA. If the company is inspected, the compliance officer will examine the log. It is not customary, however, to go back more than two or three years. Thus the particular accident reported by Mr. Kottschade would probably not have been noticed in any recent inspection of the employer.
If we can be of further service, we shall be glad to do so.
John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations