Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Have You Posted Your Workplace Injury and Illness Log?

Posted by Jon Elliott on Mon, Feb 01, 2016

Crutches-1.jpgThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses (I&I Logs) as they occur. OSHA also requires employers to post an annual I&I Summary in each “establishment” within their workplace by February 1, summarizing that workplace’s I&Is during the previous calendar year. Delegated state-run programs impose comparable requirements.

Are We Subject To I&I Requirements?

OSHA provides two sets of partial exemptions from recording requirements:

Employers with 10 or fewer employees in the entire company are exempt from I&I record keeping requirements unless OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) informs you in writing that you must comply.

Individual establishments in specified low-hazard industries are also exempt unless OSHA or BLS informs you in writing that you must comply. These sectors are identified using North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes (effective January 1, 2015; previously listed by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes, so employers should have reviewed their possible exempt status during the past year). OSHA continues to define “establishment” as:

“a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. For activities where employees do not work at a single physical location, such as construction; transportation; communications, electric, gas and sanitary services; and similar operations, the establishment is represented by main or branch offices, terminals, stations, etc. that either supervise such activities or are the base from which personnel carry out these activities.”

OSHA does not consider telecommuting employees to be at a separate establishment when working at home, so you must link each such employee to one of your establishments.

Note that partially exempt employers must still report workplace catastrophes within 24 hours (I blogged about changes to these reporting requirements here).

Do We Record Injuries And Illnesses As They Occur?

Employers must create a Log of Work-Related I&I for each non-exempt establishment, in which you record each qualifying event. To comply with these requirements, you must consider the following:

  • Who are “covered employees”?

  • Which I&I events are “occupational” (work-related)?

  • Which I&I events to record (i.e., meet OSHA’s recording criteria)?

  • How and when must you record information in your I&I Log?

  • Whether it may be necessary to amend the information at some later time.

  • Whether you must take steps to protect an affected employee’s privacy when posting.

An employer must therefore determine whether the incident is even subject to recording – whether a “covered employee” has received an occupational injury or illness. While most incidents either obviously qualify or fail to qualify, OSHA provides guidance and examples covering ambiguous situations. For example, an employer may have to consider whether a heart attack at work was related to the employee’s work activities or a chronic non-work-related illness.

Once the employer determines an injury or illness is work-related, it must be recorded in the employer’s I&I Log (OSHA Form 300 or a state equivalent). Form 300 consists of a number of columns, with the following captions:

  • Case number (column A) – assigned by the employer

  • Employee’s name and job title (columns B and C)

  • Date of injury or onset of illness (column D)

  • Location – where the event occurred (column E)

  • Description - describe injury or illness, parts of body affected, and object/substance that directly injured or made person ill (column F)

  • Classify the case – by choosing one of the following: death, days away from work, job transfer or restriction, other recordable cases (columns G through J)

  • Duration – enter the number of days the injured or ill worker was away from work and/or subject to on job transfer or restriction (columns K and L)

  • Classification – choose one of the following: injury, skin disorder, respiratory condition, poisoning, hearing loss, or all other illnesses (columns M(1) through M(6))

Do We Create And Post An Annual I&I Summary?

Every year, each employer must summarize all recorded I&I incidents, post an I&I Summary by February 1, and keep it posted for at least 3 months (until April 30). Employers use OSHA Form 300A (or a state equivalent), which provides for the following information:
  • Number of Cases–with columns for total numbers of: deaths, cases with days away from work, cases with job transfer or restrictions, and other recordable cases.

  • Number of days–total number of days away from work, and total number of days of job transfer or restriction.

  • Injury and illness types–totals for each of the 6 categories of I&I identified above.

Implementation Checklist

Your establishments should be summarizing I&I information and preparing to post an official I&I Summary in each workplace beginning, February 1, 2016.

  • Does my organization have one or more establishments subject to I&I recording and posting requirements?

  • Does my organization have procedures in place for reporting of injuries and illnesses that occur in a workplace or during work-related activities?

  • Does my organization have procedures in place to determine which injuries and illnesses are “work-related?”

  • Are work-related I&I compiled for each establishment?

  • Has each establishment prepared an I&I Summary covering each workplace for 2015? 

  • Has each establishment posted its 2015 I&I Summary?

Where Can I Go For More Information?

• OSHA Recordkeeping webpage 

Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) provides a variety of single-law and multi-law services, intended to facilitate clients’ understanding of and compliance with requirements. These include:

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About the Author Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 25 years. He was involved in developing 12 existing products, including Environmental Compliance: A Simplified National Guide and The Complete Guide to Environmental Law.

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at:

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights, EHS