These are tips that can help you to fill out the OSHA 300 Log Forms accurately.
- This is basic but you must maintain the Log. There are exceptions to this, but most companies with more than 10 employees are required to maintain this record keeping requirement.
- Use unique case numbers (Item A) to help keep the cases in order. Each unique case number should then transfer to the OSHA Form 301 which is filled out for every case.
- Write a detailed description (Items E and F) for each injury. OSHA requires the injury type, location and source. For example, instead of writing: "Slice Thumb", you should write: "Employee sliced tip of right thumb while using a utility blade to open a box in the shipping room."
- Mark only one column to classify the severity of a case (Items G-J). Selections are listed in order of severity from left to right: "Death (G)" is worse than "Days Away From Work (H)." "Days Away..." is worse than "Job Transfer (I)" and so on. Anything else is "Other recordable cases (J)." Mark only one.
- Count the correct lost days (Item K). Even if the employee is injured at the start of the workday, goes to the clinic, spends the rest of the day at home and returns to work the next day, the day of the injury is not counted as a lost-time day. As a rule of thumb, what the physician says regarding "time off" determines lost time days, not the actual days the employee was absent.
- Even if the worker has lost more time do not over end more than 180 days for restricted and lost workdays (Items K and L). OSHA puts a 180-day cap for each case in each of these columns.
- The Log and Summary Forms must match at the time of the annual posting. So make sure you double check page totals for each column, and add the correct numbers to the 300A Summary Form. Any adjustments in lost or restricted days after the Summary is posted must be maintained on the Log. You do not need to report it again on the Summary. If you are inspected, any difference between the two postings can be explained.
- The 300A Summary must be signed by the highest-ranking person at the site, even if they were not the ones filling out the form.
- Try not to confuse a Workers Compensation claim with an OSHA recordable injury. They are two different systems. If your Workers Comp insurance denies a claim, it doesn't mean the injury can be removed from the Log. And if an injury is accepted by Workers Comp as work related, it doesn't mean it must be the OSHA Log. Typically the two are the same, but not always!
- There is no need to record every injury or illness. During an inspection, OSHA will look at your Log to aid them in deciding how safely your company is performing. Reporting lots of incorrectly reported injuries does not look good. Also, the injuries you record can be used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine industry and site specific targeting programs for OSHA compliance inspections, increasing your chances for a future audit.
Lastly (Bonus), from February 1 to April 30, only post the annual 300A Summary Form. The rest of your Log contains sensitive employee information that is considered private and confidential.