Now that employers are required to electronically submit their OSHA records directly to OSHA every year, the importance of accurate recordkeeping is at an all time high. Here are 5 common OSHA recordkeeping mistakes and how to avoid them.
Top 5 OSHA Recordkeeping Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: Failing to post or electronically submit when you’ve had zero incidents
If you employee more than 10 employees (full-time, part-time, temporary, and/or seasonal) you must maintain OSHA records. Every year from February 1st through April 30th, you must post their OSHA 300A log in a conspicuous area of the workplace. And, if you’re subject to electronic reporting, you must also electronically submit your 300A log directly to OSHA by March 2nd. If you’ve had zero incidents, simply enter zeros in the column totals. For a comprehensive guidebook on the electronic requirement, click here.
Mistake #2: Recording Every Incident that Occurs
It’s great to track every injury and near-miss for workplace safety purposes. However, not all incidents need to be recorded for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. If you record unnecessary incidents, you’re inflating your incident rate and could prompt on OSHA inspection. OSHA clearly defines what incidents are recordable. For a complete breakdown, click here.
Mistake #3: Not recording the incident within 7 calendar days
Many employers get into the habit of updating their records every month, or even every quarter. Some don’t update until the end of the year. This type of practice is asking for a citation. OSHA requires that all incidents be recorded within 7 calendar days of notification of the injury. Furthermore, fatalities and other severe injuries must be reported directly to OSHA immediately. For more information on fatality and severe injury reporting, click here.
Mistake #4: Using one set of OSHA records for all locations
Each “establishment” (a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed) must maintain their own set of OSHA records. It is not permissible to have one ‘master’ set of OSHA records for every location. During the February 1st to April 30th posting period, each location must post injury data specific to that location. If you’re subject to electronic reporting, each establishment with 20 or more employees must also electronically submit the 300A log to OSHA by March 2nd.
If you have a free account with OSHAlogs, you can manage every location’s OSHA records from one centralized location, with multiple users permitted. And when it’s time to electronically submit, OSHAlogs will verify which locations are required to submit. To sign up for a free account today, click here.
Mistake #5: Incorrectly counting days away from work
Days away from work are not only the days the employee was scheduled to work, it is every calendar day. This includes weekends, holidays, vacations, and all other scheduled time off. For example, if an employee was injured on Friday, was not scheduled to work over the weekend, and reports back to work on Monday, then Saturday and Sunday must be counted as days away from work. However, if a licensed healthcare professional indicates that the employee could have worked during those days, then you don’t have to count as days away from work.