Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

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

October 20, 1992

(Name Withheld)

Dear (Name Withheld):

Thank you for your letter requesting information regarding the proper recording of work related injuries and illnesses, and an employee's right to access the information. In response, I will reference you to the appropriate sections of the enclosed material.

As found in section 1904.2 (Log and summary of occupational injuries and illnesses) of the enclosed regulations, employers are required to keep a log and summary (OSHA Form No. 200) of all recordable occupational injuries and illnesses for each of their establishments. Section 1904.7 (Access to records) states that an employee, former employee, and their representatives shall have access to the log for any establishment in which they have worked. In other words, the employer must allow you to see the OSHA 200 Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses for the establishment in which you worked.

Section 1904.6 (Retention of records) states that the OSHA injury and illness records must be kept for five years following the end of the year to which they relate. For the year 1992, the employer must have the OSHA records dating back to 1987, which includes the Log for calendar year 1989. When your hand was crushed or severed due to a work related event on November 17, 1989 it should have been recorded on the 1989 Log.

Please be aware that there are some employers that are normally exempt from keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Sections 1904.15 and 1904.16 discuss these exemptions. If an employer had no more than 10 employees at any time during the previous calendar year, or if the employer's business is classified as a low hazard industry, the employer need not keep the OSHA injury and illness records.

Employers that do keep the OSHA injury and illness records are not required to send them to OSHA at any time. In your letter, you state that the "Medical Information Bureau" does not have a record of your injury. I am not familiar with that organization. It is not part of OSHA.

I hope you find this information useful. If you need further assistance or clarification, please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 219-6463. If you need any assistance for compliance purposes, please contact the OSHA Area Office in Atlanta at (404) 493-6644.


Stephen A Newell
Office of Statistics