The 300 Log program is the backbone of OSHA decision making, but only if the information you provide is both timely and accurate. Here are some tips to keep it so.
It’s March. That means it’s time to check out big-time college basketball, the first glimmerings of spring … and whether you’ve got your OSHA 300 Summary posted.
That’s right. We’re already more than a month past the date you should have posted your OSHA workplace injury and illness summary (Form 300A) in a common area for all (including the occasional compliance inspector) to see. By law, it had to go up on February 1 and stay up until April 30.
Remarkably, some managers we’ve talked with didn’t know all that. They thought they filled it out and they were done, or they had the posting dates wrong. So we thought it might be time for a spring-cleaning about OSHA recordkeeping basics, starting with the 300 Log itself, courtesy of BLR’s OSHA Compliance Encyclopedia on CD. This well-known and long-admired reference offers a full, plain-English analysis of all major OSHA recordkeeping rules.
If it’s OSHA and you need to know it, BLR’s OSHA Compliance Encyclopedia on CD will tell you … in plain English. See why so many depend on it. Try it at no cost or risk. Click for info.
Today, let’s look at the log. Tomorrow, we’ll review other required forms of recordkeeping, and post some tips on how to make sure it gets done.
The OSHA 300 Log (and the 300-A summary it feeds) form the building blocks of OSHA’s enforcement decision making. By tallying data from these logs through a system of random surveys sent to various businesses, OSHA builds a mosaic of injury/illness patterns by industry and locality. This gives the agency a war plan for deploying its limited inspection resources.
OSHA has been criticized for working this way. It’s been said that the 300 Log process creates a rearview mirror view of workplace safety, because last year’s patterns don’t necessarily project. However, says OSHA Compliance Encyclopedia, “whether or not you agree with OSHA that recordkeeping compliance is a good way to improve health and safety, this is the route the agency is now taking.”
Here are some ways to minimize the speed bumps along that route:
Similarly, you must report any significant workplace event that leads to a health professional’s diagnosis, or medical removal from the job. Additionally, any needlestick or cut that may involve contaminated blood is reportable, as is a positive tuberculosis test after exposure to a known case of TB. In a recent addition, hearing loss on an audiometer test, outside certain parameters, is also reportable.
Nonprescription medications are considered first aid, but only at nonprescription strength. Larger doses, or a need for prescription medicines (except for diagnosis) make an event reportable.
All the regs … all the analysis … state plan info … prescripted safety meetings. They’re all in OSHA Compliance Encyclopedia. Try it at no cost or risk. Click here.
Two final points: Logs must be kept a minimum of 5 years. And if you violate any of the above, OSHA won’t like it to the tune of a possible $10,000 fine and up to six months in jail … per violation. So if you haven’t done it, get that log summary posted today!