Highlights to the New Rule

Highlights of the Revised Recordkeeping Rule

OSHA’s rule addressing the recording and reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses affects approximately 1.4 million establishments. A number of specific industries in the retail, service, finance, insurance and real estate sectors that are classified as low hazard are exempt from most requirements of the rule as are small businesses with 10 or fewer employees.

HIOSH is adopting the rule, which will take effect January 1, 2002, except for key provisions covering hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders, which OSHA has delayed for one year while the agency reconsiders these issues. The new revised rule improves employee involvement, calls for greater employee privacy protection, creates simpler forms, provides clearer regulatory requirements and allows employers more flexibility to use computers to meet OSHA regulatory requirements. Following is a brief summary of key provisions of the rule.

  • Updates three recordkeeping forms:
  • OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses); simplified and printed on smaller, legal size paper (8 1/2″ x 14″)
  • OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report); includes more data about how the injury or illness occurred. Hawaii employers may use a revised WC-1 (Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury) in lieu of the Form 301.
  • OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses); a new form created to make it easier to post and calculate incidence rates.
  • Provides a single set of recording criteria for both work-related injuries and work-related illnesses. (The former rule required employers to record all illnesses, regardless of severity.)
  • Requires records to include a work-related injury or illness resulting in one of the following: death; days away from work; restricted work or transfer to another job; medical treatmentbeyond first aid; loss of consciousness; or diagnosis of a significant injury/illness by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
  • Includes new definitions of medical treatment, first aid and restricted work to simplify recording decisions.
  • Requires a significant degree of aggravation before a preexisting injury or illness is considered work related.
  • Adds further exceptions to the definition of work-relatedness to limit recording of cases involving eating and drinking of food and beverages, common colds and flu, blood donations, exercise programs, mental illnesses, etc.
  • Clarifies the recording of “light duty” or restricted work cases. Requires employers to record cases when the injured or ill employee is restricted from their “routine job functions,” which are defined as work activities the employee regularly performs at least once weekly.
  • Requires employers to record all needlestick and sharps injuries involving contamination by another person’s blood or other potentially infectious materials.
  • Includes separate provisions describing the recording criteria for cases involving the work-related transmission of tuberculosis.
  • Eliminates the term “lost workdays” and requires recording of days away from work or days restricted or days transferred to another job. Calls for employers to count calendar days rather than workdays.
  • Requires employers to establish a procedure for employees to report injuries and illnesses and tell their employees how to report. (Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who do report according to Chapter 396, Hawaii Revised Statutes.)
  • For the first time, employees and former employees will be guaranteed access to their individual OSHA 301(WC-1) forms. Employee representatives will be provided access to the “information about the case” section of the OSHA 301 form or the “Detail of Injury/Illness” section of the WC-1 form in establishments where they represent employees.
  • Protects employee privacy by (1) prohibiting employers from entering an individual’s name on Form 300 for certain types of injuries/illnesses (e.g., sexual assaults, HIV infections, mental illnesses, etc.); (2) allowing employers not to describe the nature of sensitive injuries where the employee’s identity would be known; (3) giving employee representatives access only to the portion of Form 301 that contains no personal information; and (4) requiring employers to remove employees’ names before providing the data to persons not provided access rights under the rule.
  • Requires the annual summary to be posted for three months instead of one. Requires certification of the summary by a company executive.
  • Excludes some public transportation and motor vehicle accidents from the reporting of fatalities and catastrophes.
  • Hawaii operates its own job safety and health program, and will adopt comparable recordkeeping rules to be effective January 1, 2002, including requirements for which injuries and illnesses are recordable and how they are recorded.

A Federal Register Notice, published by OSHA on October 12, 2001, modified two provisions of the regulation. OSHA has delayed for one-year, to January 2003, provisions that would:

  • Require employers to record standard threshold shifts (STS) in employees’ hearing and to check a separate column on the OSHA 300 for these cases. (OSHA will reconsider the level of hearing loss that should be recorded as a significant health condition.) However, from January 1, 2002 until December 31, 2002, employers must record work-related hearing loss averaging 25dB or more at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz in either ear.
  • Define musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) and require employers to check a separate column on the OSHA 300 to record these injuries. (OSHA will develop a definition in line with its overall re-examination of ergonomics.) However, from January 1, 2002 until December 31, 2002, employers must record work-related injuries and illnesses involving muscles, joints, etc., that meet the general recording criteria, as “injury” or “all other Illnesses” on the log.