Reporting & Recordkeeping

Reporting and Recordkeeping

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes that having accurate workplace injury data is essential for the agency to promulgate effective health and safety regulations.
Incident recordkeeping also allows facilities to assess the extent to which their work safety plans are preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.

OSHA requires certain employers to maintain records regarding illnesses and injuries at the facility and report this data to the agency.

Why is it important to comply with the reporting and recordkeeping regulations?

Employee injuries, illnesses, and fatalities occur at workplaces across the United States on a daily basis. In an effort to minimize these incidents, OSHA requires certain employers to maintain records on and report work-related injuries and illnesses.
This information is critical for OSHA to target the most hazardous industries and tailor its regulations to improve safety at those types of facilities.

Failure to comply with OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements will subject the employer to OSHA’s civil fines and potentially criminal penalties.

Important reporting and recordkeeping provisions

If an employer had more than 10 employees at any time during the last calendar year, and is not engaged in one of the partially exempt industries identified in the standard, OSHA requires that employer to record and report work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. Partially exempt industries include workplaces in specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industries.

Even if a facility is exempt from the recordkeeping requirements, that employer must still report any accident that results in one or more deaths or hospitalization of three or more employees to OSHA within eight hours of the incident. Employers may report via telephone or OSHA’s online reporting form.

Employers that are subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements must post a log and summary of the occupational injuries and illnesses at the workplace. If an OSHA compliance officer requests to inspect the facility’s workplace injury records, the employer must allow the officer to enter and access the records.

Importance of implementing an active regulatory watch on reporting and recordkeeping regulations

New OSHA recordkeeping and reporting regulations became effective in January 2015. OSHA now requires employers to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, and eye-losses within 24 hours.

OSHA has also proposed rules that clarify employer recordkeeping obligations and improve tracking of workplace illnesses and injuries. In addition, facilities located in an OSHA-delegated state will be subject to the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of that state, which may be more stringent than the federal OSHA standard.
A regulatory watch is helpful to determine the extent to which the federal and state OSHA recordkeeping and reporting standards have been amended.

Learn more About

OSHA Laws and H&S Standards


What is OSHA?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that imposes health and safety standards on employers to protect workers from occupational hazards. OSHA enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which establishes regulations to promote safe conditions in the workplace.

What is a work-related injury or illness?

An injury or illness is work-related if an event or exposure in the workplace caused or contributed to the injury or illness or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. OSHA presumes that an injury or illness is work-related if the event or exposure occurred in the workplace, unless a specific exemption applies.

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