OSHA has long required certain covered businesses to keep a record of any serious occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA Form 300 is the form businesses are required to use to log these incidents. However, for the past three years there have been several changes to what businesses need to do stay in compliance with regulations covering OSHA Form 300. Many employers are confused by the changing rules and deadlines for electronically submitting Form 300. Other businesses are not even sure if any of the regulations apply to them at all.
Here are three things you need to know about OSHA Form 300 and the latest requirements.
One of the biggest changes when it comes to Form 300 is how OSHA decides what industries are exempt from having to complete and submit the form. Previously, many industries were completely exempted from the Form 300 requirements. But, under the new rule OSHA is using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code system to list which industries are partially exempted from the new electronic filing requirements.
The new rules only apply to your business if you are under the jurisdiction of OSHA and if your NAICS code is not listed as being partially exempt on the OHA website.
If your state has its own occupational health and safety department, you are most likely covered by state rules, and are not subject to federal OSHA requirements about Form 300.
The biggest change to the Form 300 regulations was the requirement to electronically submit Form 300 instead of just maintaining the form on your premises.
The current deadline for electronically submitting the 2016 Form 300 is December 1, 2017. Originally, the deadline for the 2016 report was July 1, 2017. But, because of the confusion over who the regulation applied to, delays in getting the reporting website setup to receive electronic submissions, and a review of the regulation by the Trump administration, the deadline was pushed back to December.
However, the 2017 Form 300 electronic submission date is July 1, 2018. It is not anticipated that this deadline will be extended.
The OSHA regulations about Form 300 not only requires occupational injuries and illnesses to be logged and electronically submitted, it also requires to keep records on site and to post the results of the report each year.
Any covered business has to keep records relating to Form 300 onsite for five years. Current and former employees must be allowed to access these records on demand. If your business has multiple worksites, each worksite must keep a copy of the logs for five years.
Additionally, every February through April, businesses that are not exempt from Form 300 requirements have to post summaries of all the occupational illnesses and injuries from the previous year.
However, employers must be careful to only post a summary of the log. Posting the actual log would result in violations of HIPAA and many state privacy laws because it would expose employees’ private medical information.