OSHA 300a Log Posting: What is the Purpose of the OSHA 300 Form?

purpose of osha 300 form

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 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:

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300a osha log

OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

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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).

Only certain kinds of incidents must be recorded on the OSHA 300 form. Employers must record new cases of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses when they involve:

  • Death
  • 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 health-care 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 also have to fill out Form 301 Incident Report for each recordable injury or illness, containing a more detailed about the case. Employers must complete the OSHA 300 log and the 301 form within 7 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 totals for the number of cases, number of days, and illness/injury types, broken out by category.

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 requirements, we could only guess at how many Americans got hurt or killed at work, not to mention how or where. Reporting and recording 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.

Where Do OSHA 300 Logs Need to Be Posted?

The OSHA 300 log itself shouldn't be posted, because that would compromise private information. Eployers are required to share copies of the OSHA 300 form under certain circumstances, but when people talk about OSHA 300 log posting requirements, they're actually talking about the OSHA 300a summary.

At the end of each calendar year, the OSHA 300a summary needs to be completed and certified by a company executive as correct and complete.

A copy of the previous year's certified record must be posted for workers by February 1st. 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.

How Long Does the OSHA 300 Log Need to Be Posted?

The OSHA 300a summary must be posted and left available to workers for three months, from February 1st to April 30th.

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.

Enroll today!