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Deadline to Share OSHA Incidents with Employees on Feb. 1

osha incidentsKYLE MEINERT
HNI Risk Advisor

A compliance deadline is around the corner for most businesses. OSHA Form 300A or (aka 300 annual summary) is the form that communicates and summarizes the past year's OSHA incidents, and it needs to be decking the halls of your business very soon!

This form must be posted from February 1 through April 30 at a minimum. However, this form will not need to be sent into OSHA unless your organization is specifically asked to do so. The 300A form must be retained for no less than five years following the year to which the record pertains.

Click here to download the form and related materials (PDF) from OSHA. Wondering if you need to comply, or how to do it? Then settle in for our quick Q&A to cover some more details about this requirement:

What's the purpose of OSHA Form 300A?

This form was created by OSHA to communicate information on all injuries and illnesses at your jobsite — including details like number of deaths, lost time incidents, and injuries and illnesses that took place. Employees and former employees (or their representatives) have the right to review this form in its entirety. 

Do I have to fill out the OSHA Form 300A?

Good question. Did you, at any time of the previous year (even if it was one day) have 11 or more employees? If you’re not a retail store, finance firm, or insurance-based classification and you answered yes, then get your 300A pen ready. You will need to complete and post this form.

If I didn’t have any OSHA incidents — that is, workplace injuries or illnesses  I don’t have to complete the 300A form, right?

Wrong! Even if you do not have a loss during the previous year, you will need to post this form. It should be an easy assignment, though, if you don't have any workplace injuries of illness to report. You'll just enter zeroes in the summary categories.

OK, so I need to complete this form. What data do I need to gather?

Start by filling in the demographic information, such as the physical address, industry description, the NAICS code (click here to check out the NAICS code index), number of employees, and number of total hours worked by all employees.

Next, you will want to pull out your OSHA Form 300 Log, the master workplace accident report document where you've been recording all your workplace injuries and illnesses for the whole year, and give that a quick once-over to make sure everything is accurate and there is nothing in the log that isn’t considered a recordable incident.

Wait… some stuff isn't recordable?

Not every incident is recordable. Refer to the OSHA form and the PDF with related material shared at the beginning of this blog post (here's the link again if you missed it). This PDF will give you a walk-through on what is and what is not considered an OSHA recordable incident.

If you don’t feel confident in determining whether an event is recordable, reach out to your trusted advisor. We're ready to answer questions at HNI!

Once you have determined that all the 300 log info is accurate, then fill in the right side of the 300A form. Carefully read the headings above each entry this is where you’ll type in your actual numbers.

Done, right?

The final step is to have an executive from your firm sign off on the Form 300A — effectively putting his or her stamp of approval on it.

After you get a John Hancock from the boss, display this document of OSHA incidents in an area visible area to employees. Break rooms and punch clocks usually are great locations for the 300A posting.

Forms aren't my thing. Nothing really bad will happen if I punt on this, right?

Wrong again. There's no living above the law when it comes to OSHA incident documentation.

Completion of this form or lack of completion is regulated by the law. As you can imagine, there are some pretty expensive consequences if you don’t complete this form and are required to do so.

OSHA could slap a willful or repeat violation on your organization for non-compliance. And you could be looking at a monetary citation up to $70,000! It's not a game of chance I’d like to play to get out of 10 minutes of work.

What's more, ignoring OSHA regs sends the message to your people that you don't have a culture of safety and that's going to hurt you even more in the long run.

One last thing: What shouldn’t I put on this form?

Stick to the outline that’s provided. Never place detailed information of an injury or illness event in a public setting. Most importantly, never place the name of an employee involved in an incident on this form.

What did we miss in this Q&A? Have any other OSHA questions or documentation requirements hanging you up? Please sound off in comments!

\\ WATCH THE WEBINAR & GET SLIDES //  OSHA Forms 300 & 300A:  Your Painless Path to Compliance  \\ CLICK HERE TO VIEW WEBINAR & SLIDES //  -If your OSHA-recordkeeping confidence needs a boost,  this webinar is for you-

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Photo by WHALEN JACK via Flickr

Topics: Construction Transportation Safety / Compliance Manufacturing