OSHA 300a Log Posting: What is the Purpose of the OSHA 300 Form?
This year, OSHA has proposed changing the requirements for submitting injury and illness records. Depending on your company's size and classification, you may have more reporting requirements in the future or less.
What are the new OSHA 300 log requirements? What is the OSHA 300 log in the first place? And when is the OSHA 300 log due for 2023? We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this article.
What Is the OSHA 300 Log?
OSHA Form 300 (or the OSHA 300 form) is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
It's a list where employers keep an official record of all qualifying safety and health incidents that occur in their workplace over the course of a calendar year.
OSHA 300 logs include:
- Case number
- Employee name
- Their job title
- Date of injury or onset of illness
- Where the event occurred
- A description of the injury or illness
- Categorization of the most serious outcome (and relevant duration)
- Categorization of the injury or illness
Here's a completed OSHA 300 log example from OSHA.gov:
Is OSHA 300 Log Required?
OSHA 300 logs are required for most employers. Very small employers and employers in very low-risk industries are exempt from routine recording requirements (but not from reporting requirements).
OSHA 300 log requirements only cover certain kinds of incidents. Employers must record new cases of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses on the OSHA 300 form when they involve:
- Days Away from Work (DAFW)
- Restricted work or transfer to another job
- Medical treatment beyond first aid
- Loss of consciousness
- A significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional
Employers are not legally required to record all injuries and illnesses in the log. Exceptions may include:
- Injuries where lost time or restricted activity only apply to the day of the incident
- Work-related stress
- Assault by a patient or client that doesn't result in any treatment but first aid
- Early signs and symptoms of some musculoskeletal disorders
- Certain conditions that an employer doesn't accept as work-related, including musculoskeletal disorders and many occupational illnesses (including cancer)
Employers must also fill out Form 301 Incident Report for each recordable injury or illness, containing more details about the case. Employers must complete the OSHA 300 log and the 301 form within seven calendar days of receiving notice of the injury or illness.
Form 300a is a summary of all the work-related injuries and illnesses of the year. It simply provides a total for the number of cases, number of days, and illness/injury types, broken out by category. A completed example looks like this:
Employers have to keep all these records (the OSHA 300 log, OSHA 300a summary, and Form 301 incident reports) for five years.
What Is the Purpose of the 300 Log?
An OSHA 300 log is a critical source of data to learn about the type, frequency, and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses.
Before the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which established OSHA and its reporting and recording requirements, we could only guess how many Americans got hurt or killed at work, not to mention how or where. OSHA 300 log requirements were some of the first provisions instituted by the agency in 1971.
OSHA 300 logs ultimately serve as the source for national workplace injury, illness, and fatality data. This data can help OSHA spot patterns across industries or states, and this informs the development of safety and health standards as well as enforcement efforts.
Totals from the OSHA 300 log also let OSHA pinpoint problematic workplaces with an unusually high incident rate. That way they can target these workplaces for inspection.
How Are OSHA 300 Log Submission Requirements Changing in 2023?
The new proposal, which OSHA submitted in April of 2023, will change both who needs to make annual electronic submissions of injury and illness data and what forms they need to submit.
For years, OSHA required employers to post the OSHA 300a summary for their own employees (more on this below) and submit them to OSHA. In 2016, they began requiring large companies and those in high-risk industries to electronically submit OSHA 300, 301, and 300a.
These electronic submission requirements may be changing – largely expanding, except for large, low-risk companies whose submission requirements will disappear. OSHA has submitted a final rule on the subject to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review.
The timeline for the review's completion is hard to predict.
But if the new final rule goes into effect, the following requirements will kick in:
- Everyone who submits injury and illness data needs to include their proper legal company names (instead of short-form descriptors) for clarity.
- The list of high-hazard industries will expand and be split into two categories: Proposed Appendix A and Proposed Appendix B.
- Establishments that fall under Proposed Appendix B with 100 or more employees will need to start annual electronic submissions of OSHA 300, OSHA 301, and OSHA 300a forms.
- Establishments that fall under Proposed Appendix A with 20 or more employees will need to start annual electronic submissions of OSHA 300a only.
We don't know if or when these requirements will go into effect, but in the meantime, the current requirements are that establishments from any industry with 250 or more employees AND high-risk establishments with 20 to 249 employees need to submit OSHA 300a.
When is the OSHA 300 Log Due as of 2023?
If the rules change, we can't say for certain what the due dates will be yet (or what business year will be the first required submission).
However, at the moment, the deadline for current electronic submissions is March 2nd. It seems likely that this date will continue to be the deadline even if the submission requirements change.
What Are the OSHA 300 Log Posting Requirements?
OSHA still requires employers to post their injury and illness logs for employees, and these rules aren't likely to change anytime soon.
At the end of each calendar year, the OSHA 300a summary needs to be completed, certified by a company executive as correct and complete, and posted for current employees.
It's worth noting that even though people often say "OSHA 300 log posting requirements," the OSHA 300 log itself should never be posted publically – that would compromise private information. It's Form 300a that must be posted.
Where and How Long Does the OSHA 300 Log Need to Be Posted?
The previous year's OSHA 300a summary must be posted and left available to workers for three months, from February 1st to April 30th.
OSHA's rules require the OSHA 300a posting to be in a common area, "wherever notices to employees are usually posted." A copy must also be available to employees who don't report to any fixed establishment on a regular basis.
In this day and age, that means providing an OSHA Form 300a PDF. The document can be shared through document access or email.
Anyone who is hired as a remote employee during the OSHA 300a posting period should be provided with the same electronic access as everyone else.
What Are OSHA's Reporting Requirements?
All employers, regardless of size or industry, are required to report work-related deaths and serious accidents to OSHA by phone or online form, and they must do so promptly after learning about the incident.
Fatalities must be reported within 8 hours if the death occurred within 30 days of the work-related incident that caused it.
Amputations, losses of an eye, and inpatient hospitalizations must be reported within 24 hours if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident that caused it.
Learn More About OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements
If you're responsible for complying with OSHA's reporting and recording requirements on behalf of your organization, there are a lot of other details to learn.
As an OSHA-authorized training provider for over 20 years, our online course on OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements can get you up to speed on the topic. It's mobile-friendly – you can learn at your own pace and wherever you're comfortable.