What Does OSHA 301 Mean?
The OSHA 301 form is the form used by employers to describe the details of an individual OSHA-recordable injury or illness occurring within a workplace. All injuries and illnesses logged onto an OSHA 301 form must also be entered into the OSHA 300 log.
A completed OSHA 301 form, like the OSHA 300 form, must be held as an employer record for at least five years after the year it was filed. Completion of an OSHA recordable form is mandatory in all workplaces in which there are 11 or more people, except for in some specific low-risk industries that have partial exemptions from OSHA recordkeeping requirements.
Safeopedia Explains OSHA 301
The chief function of an OSHA 301 form is to provide a standardized method for collecting details about injuries or illnesses resulting from a workplace safety incident. The purpose of this standardization is primarily to ensure that enough information about a specific incident is available to OSHA authorities and to other reviewers (e.g. courts) in the case that the information needs to be reviewed. In order to ensure that the information entered into an OSHA 301 form is accurate, the form must be completed within seven days of the injury or illness occurring.
Because the main goal of the 301 form is to ensure that information is recorded adequately, in some cases an employer may substitute a 301 form with an alternative incident document that OSHA recognizes as holding equivalent information to a completed 301 form. For instance, workers compensation or insurance forms may be recognized as appropriate substitutes for 301 forms.
Many U.S. states that have been recognized as having occupational health and safety requirements that are at least as stringent as OSHA’s have their own individual occupational health and safety programs. Some of these include requirements for injury and illness recording that are similar but nonetheless different than those mandated under the OSHA 301 system. For instance, Cal/OSHA (California) has its own version of the 301 form.