OSHA Publishes Final Rule for Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, and Makes Major Changes in Employer Obligations

Date: Jan 19, 2001

The highly anticipated revised recordkeeping regulation sports a new, consolidated form number 300 log of occupational injuries and illnesses and a cosmetically rearranged form number 301 for recording data on individual cases. Written in OSHAs current "plain English" question/answer format, the final rule contains many more substantive differences from the proposed rule that will have an immediate and lasting impact on all employers.

Some of the more controversial revisions include required recording of cases in which there are:

    • "significantly aggravated" preexisting injury or illness

    • "diagnosed" significant injury/illness regardless if recording criteria are triggered

    • days away or restricted work as prescribed by a physician despite an employee's desire to or actual return to work or full duty

The revised rule alters the manner in which employers must report data as well:

    • the total number of calendar days a physician stipulates an employee was restricted/unable to work regardless of it being a scheduled holiday, vacation, or days off (including weekends)

    • maximum cap of 180 calendar days away from work/restricted activity

    • needlestick and sharp injuries standard threshold shift

    • an average of 10 decibel change in 2000, 3000, 4000 hertz, in either or both ears

OSHA clarifies some previously nebulous requirements including:

    • Routine functions with regard to restricted work

    • First Aid

    • Time allowed for providing the form 300 or 301 to employees (by end of next business day)

    • 7 day delivery to authorized employee representative

    • 4 business hours to provide form 300 or 301 to authorized government representative

Other changes that will cause employers to have to retrain employees responsible for maintaining the records:

    • 7 (instead of 6) calendar days to enter data on OSHA 300 log

    • "Privacy concern case" to protect the privacy of the injured/ill worker

    • Company executive to certify log accuracy

    • Posting of annual summary from February 1 through April 30

    • Contacting OSHA to report a heart attack fatality at work

Keller and Heckman LLP will conduct training seminars on the changes beginning in time for employers to comply with the new regulation. For additional information on the regulation, please contact David Sarvadi at 202-434-4249 or by e-mail at sarvadi@khlaw.com or Lawrence Halprin at 202-434-4177or by e-mail at halprin@khlaw.com.