OSHA Recordable Injuries

With OSHA posting deadlines quickly approaching, many employers will want to start ensuring that they have their OSHA logs prepared and ready to post. Most employers with 11 or more employees are required to post their OSHA 300A log in a conspicuous place from February 1st through April 30th. But how do you determine which injuries must be recorded on the OSHA Log?

Workplace injuries or illnesses which involve any of the following are considered recordable:

  • Death
  • Days away from work
  • Restricted or transferred to another job
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Loss of consciousness
  • A significant injury or illness diagnosed by a licensed health care professional (such as diagnosed cases of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured/cracked bones or teeth, and punctured ear drums)
  • Special recording criteria for work-related cases involving needle sticks and sharps injuries, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis

Generally, the most confusing aspect of determining what is a recordable injury is determining what is considered medical treatment beyond first aid. Medical treatment does not include:

  • The conduct of diagnostic procedures such as x-rays, blood tests, etc. or visits to a physician solely for observation or counseling
  • Using non-prescription medications at nonprescription strength
  • Administering tetanus immunizations
  • Cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin
  • Using wound coverings such as bandages, gauze, wraps, steri-strips, or butterfly bandages (devices used to close a wound, including sutures, staples, etc. are considered medical treatment)
  • Using hot or cold therapy
  • Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, etc. (devices with rigid support or devices designed to immobilize a body part are considered medical treatment)
  • Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim (i.e. sling, splint, etc.)
  • Drilling a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure or draining fluid from a blister
  • Using an eye patch
  • Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or cotton swab
  • Removing splinters or foreign materials from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs, or other simple means
  • Using finger guards
  • Using massages (physical therapy is considered medical treatment)
  • Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress

Many common recordable injuries include lost time or restricted days, and/or the use of prescription medications, or wound closing devices. When counting lost time and restricted days, be sure not to count the day of injury, do not count days as both a lost time day and restricted day (it is one or the other, whichever is more severe), and you may stop counting and cap the total days away or restricted days at 180 days.

It is important to note that as of 2017, certain employers are also required to electronically submit their 300A form data from the year prior using OSHA’s injury tracking application. Establishments with 250 or more employees, as well as establishments with 20 or more employees in certain high-risk industries must submit their data by March 2nd.

Determining which injuries are recordable and which are non-recordable can get very confusing.  There is no need to keep track of OSHA log data yourself when the experts at UAP can do it for you! Give us a call today to see how we can help!