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OSHA's Recordkeeping Rule

Who Keeps Records

Under OSHA's recordkeeping regulation, certain covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.

However, there are two classes of employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping injury and illness records.  First, employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records.  OSHA's revised recordkeeping regulation maintains this exemption.

Second, establishments in certain low-hazard industries are also partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. Due to changes in OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. See the lists of both exempt and newly covered industries for details.

The previous list of partially exempt industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The new list of partially exempt industries in the updated rule (link) is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) from 2007, 2008, and 2009.  

To find out if you are required to prepare and maintain records under the updated rule, first determine your NAICS code by:

  1. Using the search feature at the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS main webpage.  In the search box for the most recent NAICS, enter a keyword that describes your business. Choose the primary business activity that most closely corresponds to you, or refine your search to get more choices.
  2. Viewing the most recent complete NAICS tables on the U.S. Census Bureau NAICS main webpage. Select the two-digit sector code and choose a six-digit industry code to read its definition.
  3. Using an old SIC code to find your NAICS code using the detailed conversion tables on the U.S. Census Bureau Concordances page.
  4. Contacting your nearest OSHA office or State agency for help.

Once you have found your NAICS code, you can use the following table to determine if your industry is exempt from the recordkeeping rule.

NOTE: Establishments in companies with 10 or fewer employees at all times in the previous year continue to be exempt from keeping OSHA records, regardless of their industry classification.  The partial exemption for size is based on the number of employees in the entire company.

The OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping forms are:

  • the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300),
  • the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A), and
  • the Injury and Illness Incident  Report (OSHA Form 301).

Employers must fill out the Log and the Incident Report only if a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred. Employers must fill out and post the Summary annually, even if no recordable work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year.

In place of the OSHA forms, employers may also use equivalent forms (forms that have the same information, are as readable and understandable, and are completed using the same instructions as the OSHA forms they replace). Many employers use an insurance form instead of the Incident Report, or supplement an insurance form by adding information required by OSHA.

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.

You can report to OSHA by

  • Calling OSHA's free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
  • Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
  • Using the new online form.

Employers under Federal OSHA's jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.

You can report to OSHA by

  • Calling OSHA's free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
  • Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
  • Using the new online form.

Employers under Federal OSHA's jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.

New OSHA Reporting/
Recordkeeping Requirements Video

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