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How to Turn Your OSHA 300 Log into a Continuous Improvement System

By Adrian Bartha
Published: April 11, 2016 | Last updated: March 22, 2018 01:10:49
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Key Takeaways

OSHA 300 log changes and overview.

Source: StuartMiles/

What is a Recordable Incident?

OSHA defines a recordable incident or a recordable injury or a recordable illness as one that requires medical treatment beyond first aid. The incident may be as severe as death, days missed from work, restricted work placement, or a required transfer to another job.


What are OSHA Recording Forms?

OSHA has three recording forms for reporting injury and illness:

  • OSHA Form 300 is a log of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA Form 300 A is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA Form 301A is an incident report of injuries and illness

What Companies does the New Legislation Affect?


Under OSHA's new record keeping legislation, some employers must prepare and maintain workplace incidence reports using an OSHA 300 log. The data provides employers, employees and other agencies with information concerning reportable occupational injuries and illnesses. This data is to be used in assessing workplace safety and how it can be improved to give workers more protection by eliminating hazards.

Exempt or partially exempt from this new reporting are:

  • Employers with ten or fewer employees. These companies use a revised form of reporting
  • Low-hazard industries are also partly exempt from Log 300 full reporting
  • However, with the new legislation some companies that were previously exempt, now must use the Log 300 reporting form

Consult the legislation to see which companies are now exempt and which are no longer exempt or are only partly exempt.

What Does the New Legislation Say?

Since January 2015, OSHA has enforced stricter rules of record keeping. This has not always been popular with CEOs who are angry about high penalties for noncompliance and for the time required to deal with OSHA regulations.

OSHA paperwork is arduous and labor intensive to fulfill record keeping regulations. Every incident must be recorded on an incident summary sheet OSHA form 301 within 24 hours of their occurrence. Furthermore, all recordable incidents must be noted on OSHA 300 and 300A forms, which provide an annual summary of all recordable incidents.

Every job site location must have an OSHA 300 log and 300A form. All forms for all jobsites must be submitted at year-end to OSHA. The previous year’s OSHA 300A form must be made available to employees from February 1 to April 30.

Even if your company has no recordable incidents, OSHA 300A forms must be submitted.

Purpose of the New Legislation

State Workers' Compensation System and OSHA share many of the same goals. However, some differ in purpose and/or scope. The intent of the OSHA record keeping system is to collect, compile and analyze information that is recorded in a uniform and consistent manner nationwide. The OSHA data is concerned occupational injuries and illnesses.

On the other hand, The Workers' Compensation System is not intended to generate and collect data. Its primary purpose is to provide medical coverage and compensation to workers injured, disabled, or killed on the job.

What Triggered the New Legislation?

OSHA revised record keeping requirements in an effort to collect more accurate and useful information about the incidence of work-related injuries and illnesses. It is OSHA’s ultimate goal to reduce worker injuries and deaths and to improve employee awareness of how to reduce injury incidence. Through the use of computer-generated data and improved telecommunication technology, OSHA hopes to improve recording and reporting of job-related injuries and illnesses resulting in incidence reduction and a safer work environment.

Using Existing Technology

In order to ensure that the company’s safety professionals do not end up spending costly amounts of time filling out forms, which require repetitive information, companies have turned from pen and paper forms to computer-generated records. This has made it possible for management to access real-time data.

Having the information at their fingertips means management can make immediate and effective changes to reduce the risk of injury, death and/or illness. Useful technology includes computer-generated OSHA forms, cloud software and mobile apps. With existing technology, incident reports can be completed on site and seamlessly shared with head office. Real-time data allows safety professionals to analyze data on prolonged injuries and to investigate extenuating circumstances.

Effective monitoring of a company’s safety performance requires access to real-time incident reports and scrutinizing OSHA 301 injury summary reports. Then, safety professionals can take immediate preventative action. The result is a marked reduction of recurring incidents. The company’s OSHA 300 Log can be transformed from a company’s costly burden to an effective management safety tool.

Data gained can allow the business to make instant and ongoing changes that improve its safety program markedly reducing the risk of incidents.


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Written by Adrian Bartha | Chief Executive Officer

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Adrian Bartha is the CEO of eCompliance, which he joined in 2012 after experiencing first-hand how a workplace incident affected a power and utilities company which he led as a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Adrian was an investment professional for a $5 billion dollar private equity firm investing in energy, construction, and transportation infrastructure companies across North America. When Adrian is out of the office, he can be found riding his futuristic motorcycle and wearing his RoboCop helmet.
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