OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Injury/Illness Records

Injury/Illness Records

There are injury/illness recordkeeping requirements under OSHA that require a minimum of paperwork. These records will provide you with one measure for evaluating the success of your safety and health activities. Success would generally mean a lack of, or a reduced number of, employee injuries or illnesses during a calendar year.

There are five important steps required by the OSHA recordkeeping system:

  1. Obtain a report on every injury requiring medical treatment (other than first aid).
  2. Record each injury on the OSHA Form No. 200 according to the instructions provided.
  3. Prepare a supplementary record of occupational injuries and illnesses for recordable cases either on OSHA Form No. 101 or on workers' compensation reports giving the same information.
  4. Every year, prepare the annual summary (OSHA Form No. 200); post it no later than February 1, and keep it posted until March 1. (Next to the OSHA workplace poster is a good place to post it.)
  5. Retain these records for at least 5 years.

During the year, periodically review the records to see where injuries are occurring. Look for any patterns or repeat situations. These records can help you to identify those high risk areas to which you should direct your immediate attention.

Since the basic OSHA records include only injuries and illnesses, you might consider expanding your own system to include all incidents, including those where no injury or illness resulted, if you think such information would assist you in pinpointing unsafe conditions and/or procedures. Safety councils, insurance carriers and others can assist you in instituting such a system.

Injury/illness recordkeeping makes sense, and we recommend this practice to all employers. There are some limited exemptions for small business employers who employ l0 or fewer employees as well as for businesses that have certain SIC codes. Refer to Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1904 for the specific exceptions. The employer is required to report, to OSHA, all work-related facilities and multiple hospitalization accidents with 8 hours of notification of the accident.

Regardless of the number of employees you have or the SIC classification, you may be selected by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) or a related state agency for inclusion in an annual sample survey. You will receive a letter directly from the agency with instructions, if you are selected.

Next Page > Exposure Records and Others