Well, it’s time to fill out the annual summary of occupational injuries and illnesses. In 2002 reporting requirements for OSHA changed. Uh-oh, I sense a disturbance in the force. If you are not familiar with the changes don’t worry, the system has been improved and the forms are easier to fill out.
Since 2002 employers have a new system for tracking workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA’s new recordkeeping log is easier to understand and to use. Written in plain language using a question and answer format, the revised recordkeeping rule answers questions about recording occupational injuries and illnesses and explains how to classify particular cases. Flowcharts and checklists make it easier to follow the recordkeeping requirements.
Remember that these summaries must be posted no later than February 1st and kept posted until April 30th. To be sure that you are following the standards for 29 CFR 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses refer to OSHA’s website for the proper forms, to review the OSHA 3169 Publication or download the recordkeeping handbook.
Employers are responsible for recording cases of 2009 H1N1 illness if all of the following requirements are met: (1) the case is a confirmed case of 2009 H1N1 illness as defined by CDC; (2) the case is work-related as defined by 1904.5; and (3) the case involves one or more of the recording criteria set forth in 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work). Per CPL-02-02-075.
Note: This recording criteria applies to all establishments covered by PART 1904.
What has changed?
The new rule:
* Offers flexibility by letting employers computerize injury and illness records;
* Updates three recordkeeping forms:
> OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses); simplified and reformatted to fit legal size paper.
> OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report); includes more data about how the injury or illness occurred.
> OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses); separate form created to make it easier to calculate incidence rates;
* Continues to exempt smaller employers (employers with 10 or fewer employees) from most requirements;
* Changes the exemptions for employers in service and retail industries;
* Clarifies the definition of work/relationship, limiting the recording of pre-existing cases and adding new exceptions for some categories of injury and illness;
* Includes new definitions of medical treatment, first aid, and restricted work to simplify recording decisions;
* Eliminates different criteria for recording work-related injuries and work-related illnesses; one set of criteria will be used for both;
* Changes the recording of needlestick injuries and tuberculosis;
* Simplifies the counting of days away from work, restricted days and job transfer;
* Improves employee involvement and provides employees and their representatives with access to the information; and
* Protects privacy for injured and ill workers.
Simplified, clearer definitions also make it easier for employers to determine which cases must be recorded. Posting an annual summary of workplace injuries and illnesses for a longer period of time improves employee access to information, and as employees learn how to report workplace injuries and illnesses, their involvement and participation increase.
Speaking of employee participation; I recently met with the Health and Safety Director of a business that had reduced their recordable incident rate by nearly 75%. When asked how they had accomplished their reduction two reasons were given; one by including employees in the process and another by having buy-in from all management levels.
By having that involvement and participation of employees it will develop a feeling of ownership and the pride that comes with it. The safety of employees then becomes a shared effort.