OSHA Form 300, 301, 300A and Electronic Recordkeeping

October 13, 2017
Written by C&S Insurance

stay compliant with osha form 300, 301, 300A and electronic recordkeeping ruleUPDATE: On July 30, 2018, OSHA issued a proposed rule that would remove a requirement from its 2016 electronic reporting rule for establishments with 250 or more employers to electronically submit information from forms 300 and 301. OSHA is not enforcing that requirement while its proposed rule is under consideration. The deadline for the public to submit comments is September 28, 2018.

Recently we attended an informative webinar on OSHA form 300, 301, 300A and the final electronic recordkeeping rule. Big thanks to the folks at NERCA and to Peter Shackford, Director of Safety & Risk Control Services at Hettrick, Cyr & Associates, who hosted the event. Some of our construction insurance and roofers’ insurance clients recently contacted us with questions about the final rule, so we thought we’d share our answers.  Here are the key points:

Which OSHA forms does this new rule affect?

OSHA’s final rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries relates to three forms: OSHA 301, OSHA 300, and OSHA 300A. If your company employs fewer than 250 people, you probably only need to think about form 300A at this point. See below.

What’s the difference between OSHA form 300, 301, and 300A?

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • OSHA Form 300 – This is an incident summary form that outlines what happened and who was involved in a specific injury event.
  • OSHA Form 301—This is a business location-based log that includes a line item for every workplace incident.
  • OSHA Form 300A—This is an annual summary that combines all the data from the forms above, outlining all incidents at all business locations.

Who is required to submit worker injury records electronically?

All companies with 250 employees or more are required to submit their 301, 300, and 300A forms electronically (minus any personally identifiable information—including employee names, addresses, physician names, and treatment facility names).

Additionally, companies in certain “high-risk industries” (e.g. construction, roofing, waste hauling) with 20-249 employees must submit form 300A electronically; forms 301 and 300 are not required of smaller companies at this time. Not sure if your industry qualifies? Here’s a list of all the industries OSHA considers high risk.

For OSHA purposes, your total number of employees includes part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees—but not your subcontractors. Measure your payroll at it’s annual peak to see if you reach that 20-employee threshold at any point during the year.

When do companies have to submit their records?

The deadline for submitting form 300A via ITA is December 1, 2017. Keep in mind, this is the deadline for submitting your 2016 worker injury data. (Originally data was due on July 1,2017, but OSHA pushed back its compliance schedule.) Your 2017 annual summary will be due on December 1, 2018.

How do companies submit form 300A electronically?

Here’s a quick primer on getting started in ITA (OSHA’s “injury tracking application). Step one is creating an ITA account for your business and logging in for the first time. Next, choose how you want to submit your data to OSHA. You can do manual data entry (entering information for all your different establishments one at a time), or “batch” data transmission.

If you’re planning to enter everything manually, you’ll need to create a profile for each business location, then complete a web form for each one. More conveniently, you can upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Finally, if your company uses an automated recordkeeping system, you can transmit your injury data electronically—via API (application programming interface). You can find OSHA’s Injury Tracking App here.

What else is OSHA changing along with this new rule?

The new rule clearly states that employers can’t discourage their workers from reporting a workplace injury or illness. While this probably sounds like an obvious requirement, the conditions surrounding reporting protocol used to be a little vague. For example, in the past, employers may have run incentive programs that rewarded teams for completing x number of “injury-free” workdays. But in light of the new rule, employers should reconsider any programs that might encourage workers to ignore an incident. Instead, incetive programs should be geared toward positive safety-related behaviors—like attending trainings.

Employers are also required to inform employees about their anti-retaliation rights, in terms of workplace injuries and illnesses. If you don’t already have an OSHA workplace poster displayed onsite, make sure you get one. Experts further recommend updating your safety handbooks and orientation materials to inform employees of their rights, and to outline your organization’s policy against retaliation.

What is retaliation, and how should companies avoid it?

Retaliation could include disciplining, suspending, or firing an employee after he or she reports an injury/illness. In order to be compliant with OSHA’s anti-retaliation provisions, employees should take a careful look at their policies. Policy language should allow for some latitude in cases of delayed injury reporting. In cases of violated safety codes, disciplinary actions should be applied uniformly and consistently—regardless of whether or not an injury occurred. Drug testing is another key issue. Post-injury, you can’t conduct mandatory drug testing unless drug use could be considered a reasonable root cause of the incident, and only if you conduct testing uniformly—on all workers involved, regardless of who was injured and who wasn’t.

Why is OSHA asking employers to track injuries/illnesses electronically?

There are several reasons why this change is happening:

  • OSHA wants better information on who is getting hurt at work and why. By requiring employers to report injury data in a more structured way, they can begin to compile a larger, more comprehensive data pool. From that data, analysts can isolate trends that need addressing.
  • OSHA hopes to inspire more competitive safety programs, where organizations “race to the top,” in order to have the safest workplaces among their competitors. By uniformly collecting safety data—and making it available for public review—OSHA’s new rule puts company leaders on record.

Will my commercial insurance company help me with the new OSHA reporting requirements?

We can’t speak for other insurance agencies, but here at C&S we help commercial clients with all aspects of loss control, regulatory compliance, and workers’ compensation insurance. Ask us how we could enhance your safety program and help you control costs. Contact our commercial lines team at 508.339.2951.