Employers are required to keep a record of serious work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. OSHA requires these records (the OSHA 300 Log, the privacy case list, the annual summary and the OSHA 301 Incident Report Forms) to be maintained at the worksite for a minimum of five years. Find OSHA’s general recording criteria here. There are different criteria when it comes to needlestick and sharps injuries, cases involving medical removal, cases involving occupational hearing loss, for work-related tuberculosis cases, and for cases involving work-related musculoskeletal disorders. All injuries and illnesses must be kept in the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, also known as OSHA Form 300.
It is important that employees understand the steps he or she must take to report a work-related illness or injury. The employer will need to establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report these illnesses and injuries both promptly and accurately. It is crucial this procedure is one that is considered reasonable and will not deter employees for making a report. Employees also have guaranteed access to all injury and illness reports on record.
At the end of each calendar year, employers must review the OSHA 300 Log to ensure entries are complete and accurate while correcting any identified deficiencies. A summary must be created and posted in the workplace.
Certain training records must also be maintained and able to be reviewed by compliance officers in the event of an OSHA inspection. General industry standards that require either a certificate of completion or documentation of completion include the following:
- Process Safety Management,
- Hazardous Waste Operations,
- Personal Protective Equipment,
- Respiratory Protection,
- Powered Industrial Trucks, and
- Permit-Required Confined Spaces.
Each documentation of trainings has different types of records that need to be kept, but the common items included in the records are the subject of training, the name and signature of the trainer, the date the training took place, and what is called proof of competency.
Remember, a good rule of thumb is it is better to document more than less!