There are always questions in an employer’s head when an employee gets hurt on the job. Do we need to send the employee to the hospital? Do we need to send them to the clinic? Did the employee actually get hurt on the job? Do I need to record this on my OSHA log?
These are all fair questions, and there is no silver bullet answer to any of them. All of these questions depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury. But, one of the most cut and dry questions an employer can answer is: do I need to record this on my OSHA log? Many companies feel the best way to avoid hefty OSHA fines is to record all of their injuries, similarly to how a company should report their Workers Compensation claims. However, the requirements for OSHA are much different than insurance companies. For some larger companies who have several claims a day, recording every minor incident to OSHA can be quite a hassle and not exactly great for the image of the company either.
The general guideline for OSHA recordability is that an employer must record an injury when it requires treatment beyond first aid. But, even this definition can be misconstrued because “first aid” is a fairly vague term. “First Aid” by OSHA’s guidelines even includes having an employee get an x-ray as a pre-caution to rule out a fractured bone, as long as the result is negative. In some people’s eyes, getting an x-ray performed would be considered beyond first aid.
So, how is an employer supposed to know when exactly to record injuries to OSHA? Well, there are a few tools we have found that can help tremendously. One very simple solution is to contact OSHA or your Workers Compensation clinic for a “Guide to OSHA Recordability” sheet that lays out the guidelines of First Aid vs Medical Treatment.
Even better than that, there are new software tools available that can help businesses with OSHA recordability as well. ZyWave, for example, is a software tool that we offer to our clients for no additional charge because we see the true value that it offers. Under the “OSHA” section of ZyWave, there is an “OSHA Recordability” tab which, when clicked, will start up a program that will run the employer through a few simple questions. How the injury happened, what treatment was given, etc. After a few questions, this program will tell the employer whether or not this incident needs to be recorded for OSHA or not. If the incident needs to be recorded, the employer can then choose to take the information given by the employer in the previous questions to begin automatically completing an online OSHA 300 Log, which the client can then access at any time in the future.
In addition to determining if an injury is beyond “First-Aid” or not, recording severe injuries in a timely manner is one of the MOST important parts that employers must be conscious of. An employee hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss on the job must be reported within 24 hours to OSHA. And, any work-related fatality must be reported within 8 hours.
About the Author
Eric McCaugherty is a Sales Executive at Bouchard Insurance. Eric specializes in Property & Casualty, Workers’ Compensation, and Health Benefits for large commercial accounts in the construction industry. | Connect on LinkedIn