The Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses: What You Need to Know

If you are an employer, you may be required by law to keep a record of all work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in your workplace. This record is called the log of work-related injuries and illnesses, or the OSHA Form 300. In this article, we will explain what the log is, how to use it, and why it is important.

What is the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses?

The log of work-related injuries and illnesses is a form that employers use to record and classify work-related injuries and illnesses, and to track the extent and severity of each case. According to BLR, the log should include information such as:

  • The date and location of the incident
  • The name and job title of the affected employee
  • The nature and description of the injury or illness
  • The number of days away from work or on restricted or light duty, if any

The log is separate from the summary of work-related injuries and illnesses, or the OSHA Form 300-A, which is a summary of the data from the log that must be posted in the workplace annually. The log is also different from the injury and illness incident report, or the OSHA Form 301, which is a detailed report of each individual case.

How to Use the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses?

Employers must complete the log on an ongoing basis, unless they are exempted by size or industry. Employers with 10 or fewer employees throughout the previous calendar year, or those in certain low-hazard industries, do not need to complete the log. However, they must still report any work-related fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to OSHA.

To use the log, employers must follow these steps:

  • Record all new cases of work-related injuries and illnesses within seven calendar days after receiving notice of the incident. Use the OSHA definitions and criteria to determine if a case is recordable and how to classify it.
  • Update the log as new information becomes available, such as changes in the number of days away from work or the outcome of the case.
  • Keep the log for five years following the end of the calendar year to which it relates, and make it available to workers, their representatives, OSHA, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) upon request.
  • Complete and certify the summary of work-related injuries and illnesses at the end of each calendar year, and post it in a visible location from February 1 to April 30 of the following year.
  • Electronically submit the information from the summary to OSHA, if required. Some employers must submit the data annually, while others must do so only upon request.

Why is the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses Important?

The log of work-related injuries and illnesses is an important tool for employers, workers, and regulators to monitor and improve workplace safety and health. The log can help employers to:

  • Identify and eliminate hazards that cause injuries and illnesses
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of their safety and health programs and policies
  • Provide accurate and timely data to OSHA and BLS for statistical and enforcement purposes
  • Comply with the OSHA recordkeeping requirements and avoid penalties

The log can also help workers to:

  • Know their rights and responsibilities regarding workplace safety and health
  • Access information about the injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace
  • Participate in the prevention and investigation of work-related incidents
  • Report any concerns or violations to their employer or OSHA

The log of work-related injuries and illnesses is a vital part of ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for everyone. By keeping and using the log properly, employers and workers can work together to reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses, and to promote a culture of safety and health.