OSHA Record-keeping Requirements

This document explains how to complete OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 and when to keep a separate confidential list for “privacy concern” cases. It was written by John Loomos, Esq. formerly of ALPA and Eastern Air Lines. A 2018 Department of Labor Trade Release informed employers they must electronically submit information from Form 300, 300-A, and 301 to OSHA. Form 300-A, the Summary, must be posted no later than February 1 each year even if there are no injuries (it must be posted with zeros in the total lines) and provided to employees. The Government representatives authorized to receive records are listed. Any OSHA Survey or Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey must be promptly completed and returned.

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OSHA Record-keeping Forms

The following document explaining how to fill out OSHA’s required record-keeping forms — 

  1. Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; 
  2. Form 300-A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses reported on Form 300; and 
  3. Form 301, the Injury and Illness Incident Report, 

— was written by John Loomos, Esq., in 2002.  

April 30, 2018, DOL Trade Release

According to a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Release dated April 30, 2018, notice was given that OSHA had taken action to correct an error made with regard to implementation of the final rule.  

OSHA determined that Section 18 (c) (7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and relevant OSHA regulations pertaining to State Plans, require all affected employers to submit injury and illness data in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) Online Portal even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their own state rule.  Employers must electronically submit information from the Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301 to OSHA by July 1, 2018.  

The records kept on paper (prior to the 2018 requirement to submit electronically) must be kept for five years.

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Exercises to minimize risk of office syndrome from office work

Employers are required to Submit OSHA Form 300-A through the ITA Online Portal as of July 1, 2018 

The April 30, 2018, Department of Labor Trade Release directs all employers to submit Form 300-A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) Online Portal as of July 1, 2018.

Form 300A must be posted where notices are customarily located, no later than February 1, 2018, and must be kept in place until April 30 each year. Even if there were /are no recordable incidents, companies still must post the summary with zeros in the total lines.   

Additionally, copies must be made available to any employee who might not see the Form 300-A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, where notices are customarily posted (such as a remote employee who works from home).

OSHA Record-keeping Regulations


The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles, which are divided into chapters, which are further divided into parts covering specific regulatory areas.

The general and permanent rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) are published under Title 29 of the Code. 

Those regulations specifically relating to the Recording and Reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses are found under Part 1904, Section .12, .29, .31, .32, .33,  .35, .36, .40, .41 and .42. 

These sections of Part 1904 are summarized for your convenience and are intended to assist you and your company in property satisfying OSHA’s strict recording and reporting criteria of these particular sections of 29 CFR 1904.

29 CFR 1904.12 – Recording of MSDs

Section .12 relates to the recording criteria for cases involving a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (“MSD”). An employer is required to record any MSD in the OSHA 300 Log under the MSD column.

A recordable MSD can be a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs that have not been caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents or similar type accidents.

Examples of work-related MSD’s include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome, 
  • rotator cuff syndrome, 
  • DeQuervain’s disease, 
  • trigger finger, 
  • tarsal tunnel syndrome, 
  • sciatica, 
  • epicondylitis, 
  • tendonitis, 
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon, 
  • carpet layer’s knee, 
  • herniated spinal disc, and 
  • low back pain.

The above provisions take effect on January 1, 2003. For work-related MSD’s that occurred prior to this date, see recording requirements applicable for any injury or illness under Section 1904.5, Section 1904.6, Section 1904.7 and Section 1904.29.

29 CFR 1904.29 – OSHA Forms 

This Section stresses the fact that you must use OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 or their equivalent, whenever a recordable injury or illness is involved. 

  • Form 300 is the Log recording Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. 
  • Form 300A is the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illness reported on Form 300; and 
  • Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report.

Injury or Illness must be entered within 7 days

Each recordable injury or illness must be entered on OSHA Forms 300 and 301 within seven calendar days following receipt of information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.

You must complete a Form 301 Incident Report, or an equivalent form for each recordable injury or illness entered on Form 300.

Note: An equivalent form must be one that records the same information as OSHA Forms 300 and 301, is as readable and understandable, and follows the same instructions, as do the OSHA forms that they replace. 

You are allowed to keep records in a computer if the computer is able to produce forms equivalent to the OSHA forms when they are needed. For further information see Section 1904.35 and Section 1904.40.

You Must Not enter employee’s name on OSHA Forms in “Privacy Concern Cases”

If a “privacy concern case” is involved you may not enter the employee’s name on Form 300; instead, enter “privacy case” in the space normally used for the employee’s name. 

However, a separate, confidential list of the case numbers and the employee’s names must be maintained so that these cases can be updated and information concerning them provided to the government upon request. Note, however, MSDs are not considered to be “privacy concern cases.”

List of Injuries and Illnesses considered “Privacy Concern Cases”

The complete list of injuries and illnesses considered to be “privacy concern cases” for Section 1904 purposes includes:

  1. an injury or illness involving an intimate body part or the reproductive system, 
  2. a mental illness, 
  3. an HIV infection, Hepatitis, or tuberculosis; or 
  4. needle-stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with an other person’s blood or other potentially infectious material.

29 CFR 1904.31 – 

You Must Record Employees on your Payroll

You must record on Form 300 the work-related illnesses and injuries of employees on your payroll, regardless of whether they are laborers, executives, or paid hourly or are salaried, part time, seasonal or migrant workers. 

You Must Record Employees who are not on your Payroll if you supervise them on a day to day basis

You must also record the work-related injuries of employees not on your payroll if you supervise them on a day-to-day basis. 

This group of employees includes workers obtained from a temporary employment service or supplied by a contractor who are supervised by you or your staff on a daily basis rather than by the company or service providing you with the employees.

29 CFR 1904.32 – Employer Requirements 

At the end of the calendar year, you are required to –

  1. Review the entries made on Form 300 for completeness and accuracy and, when required, correct any apparent deficiencies.
  2. Prepare and certify an annual summary of all injuries and illnesses recorded on Form 300. 
  3. A copy of the annual summary must be conspicuously posted in each establishment in a place or places where notices intended for employees are customarily posted. 
  4. Once posted, you must insure that the annual summary is neither altered, defaced nor covered by other material. 
  5. Posting must occur no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the Form 300 and remain posted until April 30.
  6. The company official who certifies the accuracy of the annual summary must:  
  • State that he or she has examined Form 300; and
  • State that he or she believes the information recorded therein is correct and complete to the best of his or her knowledge.

7. The company executive so certifying must be:

  • An officer of the company or corporation,
  • The highest-ranking company official at the establishment; or 
  • A designated supervisor at the establishment.

29 CFR 1904.33 – Record Retention 

Form 300 (the log), the privacy case list (if one exists), Form 300A (the Annual Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and Form 301 (the Injury and Illness Incident Report)  must be retained for five (5) years following the calendar year covered by these forms.

29 CFR 1904.35 – Employee Involvement Required

This section requires you to involve your employees and their representatives in the record-keeping system in the following way:

  • By instructing each employee how he or she is to report a work-related injury or illness.
  • By providing employees and their representatives with the company’s injury and illness record by setting up a system that allows employees to promptly report work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • By informing each employee how he or she is to implement this system for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Any employee, former employee or personal representative requesting a copy of Form 301 (Incident Report) describing an injury or illness to that employee or former employee must honor this request no later than the end of the next business day.

29 CFR 1904.36 – Discrimination Prohibited

This section prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who has reported a work-related fatality, injury or illness. It also protects an employee who files a safety and health complaint.  

This protection also applies to an employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to its Part 1904 records, or otherwise exercises any other rights afforded by OSHA.

29 CFR 1904.40 – Records (not supplied through the ITA) to be Provided within 4 Business Hours  

This section requires the company or the corporation to provide authorized government representatives with copies of records required by Part 1904 within four business hours following their request. 

Government Representatives Authorized to Receive Records pursuant to 29 CFR 1904.40 

Those government representatives authorized to receive these records pursuant to Part 1904 are:

  • A representative of the Secretary of Labor conducting an investigation under the Act, 
  • A representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services conducting an investigation under Section 20(b) of the Act, or 
  • A representative of a State Agency responsible for administering a State Plan approved under Section 18 of the Act.

29 CFR 1904.41 – OSHA’s Annual Survey Must Be Completed and Sent to OSHA or OSHA Designee 

This section requires any employer receiving OSHA’s annual survey form to complete it and send it to either OSHA or a designee of OSHA.

This report requires the employer to provide the following information:

  • Number of employees,
  • Hours worked by each employee and
  • Requested information recorded on forms required by Part 1904.

29 CFR 1904.42 – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey must be promptly completed and returned 

Any employer receiving a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, must promptly complete the form and return it to sender following the instructions contained on the survey form.

If you desire more information concerning the above sections and / or for any new requirements, please log on to: www.OSHA.gov  

–  written by John Loomos, Esq. in 2002

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Author: Melanie Loomos

I was a court reporter for 10 years and spent most of my time in very uncomfortable chairs. As a result, I spent years researching seating and submitted two patent applications: "The Carpal Tunnel Chair,” and "The Pillow with Cantilever Supports.," The Buttpillow® has several configurations so you can find the best cushion for your workstation. For example, Gamers need a rearward tilt if they lean back & coders typically need a forward sloping cushion. The Buttpillow® was improved upon as it was determined different embodiments were needed for proper ergonomic positioning depending on the individual sitter. The Patented "Ergonomic Seating Cushion,” was was granted by the USPTO; and was later amended to include an embodiment specifically to help women maintain the natural curve of their lumbar spine during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. An extreme lumbar curve that restricts blood flow to the fetus is the only external risk factor for low birth weight babies. In 2003, I invented Ergosoft™ break reminder software based on OSHAs Ergonomic Standard so people can identify and minimize ergonomic risk factors for the development of sitting-related pain, eye strain, DVT and carpal tunnel syndrome.

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