Injury Reporting Versus Injury Recording (Part 1 of 2)

Report of Work Injury Form

We all dread that telephone call that informs us someone has been injured in our workplace. Our first and most obvious concern is for the employee and ensuring they have received proper medical treatment and that family members have been notified. Also, during this chaotic time, we must ensure that other employees are not endangered by the same hazard that caused the initial injury and begin an investigation to determine the root causes.

Once we are sure that other employees are not exposed to a potential hazard, next comes the questions of (1) whether the injury must be reported and (2) if it should be recorded on the organization’s OSHA 300 log.

There are two types of reporting to be concerned about following an employee injury. The first is if the injury should be reported to the workers’ compensation insurance provider and the second is if the incident has to be reported to OSHA.

Any workplace injury or illness that results in medical treatment or lost time should be reported to your workers’ compensation insurance carrier as soon as possible. This is important to ensure proper care for the injured employee as well as the reporting of the injury to the state’s workers’ compensation authorities as required by state law. Workers’ compensation insurance laws are governed by each state. For more information about your state, see this state-by-state resource from the U.S. Department of Labor. Also, an organization must decide if a minor employee injury, that did not require immediate medical care, should be reported just in case it develops into something more serious.

Injury reporting to OSHA must occur in the following circumstances1:

  1. Death of an employee (within 8 hours of the incident)
  2. Any in-patient hospitalization (within 24 hours of the incident)
  3. Any amputation injuries (within 24 hours of the incident)
  4. Loss of an eye (within 24 hours of the incident)

Reports to OSHA can be done by telephone to 1(800)321-OSHA, by going online2, or by visiting the nearest OSHA office.

Recording of workplace injuries on the company’s OSHA 300 log must occur in the following situations3:

  1. If an organization employs more than 10 employees, and when specifically asked to do so by OSHA, a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  2. If the organization is not partially exempted due to the industry in which the company operates, or if specifically asked to do so by OSHA, a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Click here to see the OSHA partially exempt industries by NAICS.
  3. If the injury is considered “work related” and resulted from the conditions of employment (even if it is the reaggravation of a previously existing injury).
  4. Medical treatment beyond first aid.
  5. Death, loss of consciousness, one or more days away from work, or results in Employee Work Restrictions.
  6. A Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in an employee’s ability to hear.
  7. Positive tuberculosis test.

In the next installment we will look at some specific circumstances and scenarios that require an organization to record an incident on their OSHA 300 log and the OSHA 300 summary that must be posted by employers from February 1st to April 30th of each year.

For more information check OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, or explore the resources in the MEMIC Safety Director