Each year, February 1st is a noted due date for when OSHA logs are required to be filed online. It’s an important target to hit since failure to meet the deadline can result in fines for a business. Additionally, if the paperwork isn’t filed correctly, it can result in a visit by an OSHA inspector. No one wants either of those things to happen, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re doing the paperwork correctly and on time.
Realize first that OSHA doesn’t exist to make life hard, and their requirements shouldn’t be harder than they need to be. If you stay on top of it, the filing is actually pretty simple. OSHA isn’t “big brother” and isn't looking to shame a company for mistakes or accidents. They do exist as part of a system of corporate checks-and-balances that can help anticipate problems and predict patterns, a valuable resource in providing a safe and productive workplace for employees.
And we agree - no one needs more paperwork. However, it’s important to understand that the paperwork OSHA requires cannot be ignored. Failure to comply can be an invitation for an OSHA inspector to perform an audit. An audit is designed to find the places where a business is complying and where it isn’t. When an inspector finds problems, it can result in fines for your company.
Am I Required to Fill Out the Paperwork?
The bigger question is who ISN’T. With a few exceptions, most businesses are required to comply. Those that are exempt from filing include:
Employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year.
Establishments in certain low-hazard industries are also exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records.
However, don’t assume you are exempt. We believe it’s best to verify your business’ status, and you can do that by following a few simple steps:
There are 3 logs that an employer is required to complete. They are the OSHA Form 300, 300A and 301.
OSHA Form 300 is the yearly log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. A hard copy must be posted in a place where notices to employees are typically posted - no electronic posting - form must not be altered or defaced or covered by other material.
OSHA Form 300-A is the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and the only one that is required to be posted in the workplace. This is the form that must be posted by February 1st.
OSHA Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report that you fill out at the time that an incident occurs.
So that you have access to the most current forms, click here to go directly to the OSHA site so that you can download the latest versions.
Tips and Best Practices
While filing the information isn’t difficult, it is extremely important. Here are a list of tips and best practices that we recommend for all our clients who are expected to keep track, file logs and meet OSHA requirements:
Keep them up to date at all times. DON”T wait to fill them out monthly, quarterly or worse...annually. You’ll forget important details and that can cause problems.
Appoint one person to own the primary job requirement on making sure this information stays up-to-date and is filed properly.
Winter-Dent works with clients regularly to help maintain their OSHA requirements. In fact, our proprietary website, OSHAlogs.com, is a free service for all Winter-Dent clients. OSHALogs.com makes filing paperwork quick and easy, with everything in one central place. If you’re interested in accessing this site or have questions about your business’ compliance with OSHA regulations, please contact us directly. Winter-Dent has the expertise, tools and resources to help you navigate the OSHA regulations, stay compliant and avoid fines.