Two industry workers reviewing OSHA recordkeeping requirements.

OSHA Recordkeeping: What You Need to Know

Even if you are following OSHA’s safety standards, it’s important to follow proper recordkeeping requirements. Doing so can improve employee safety and protect your company from violations and citations. 

Proper recordkeeping can include reporting incidents and providing record copies on time. Learn the “ins and outs” of OSHA recordable injuries and how to file a report. 

Why Is Recording an OSHA Requirement?

The purpose of OSHA recording requirements is to help evaluate workplace safety and understand potential industry hazards that could result in employee injuries. From the information gathered through recordkeeping, worker protections, including training, can be provided to prevent future injuries and illnesses. 

Therefore, the data you compile is not only for OSHA’s use but also for the use of workers to evaluate their workplace environment and for employers to implement safety programs and procedures, thus eliminating avoidable workplace hazards.

OSHA Recordkeeping Violations – What It Can Cost You

To give you better insight into the magnitude of the impact of recordkeeping violations, we examined OSHA standard 1904.39, which addresses reporting fatalities and hospitalizations. 

For the twelve months between October 2021 and September 2022, there were 505 citations with a total of $1,997,976 penalties. In addition, construction accounted for $451,556, and three manufacturing areas came to $571,535.

Drilling down to the case level, in October 2010, Lowe’s Rockford Distribution Center was fined $182,000 for willful and repeat recordkeeping violations. 

Hopefully, this convinces you that recordkeeping is a serious requirement. 

What Is Considered a “Recordable” Injury or Illness?

According to OSHA, a recordable injury or illness may include:

  • Any work-related fatality
  • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job
  • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth and punctured eardrums

Note: There are also special recording criteria for work-related cases involving: needlesticks and sharps injuries; medical removal; hearing loss; and tuberculosis.

Did you know that you only need to report an incident if treatment goes beyond first aid? In short, OSHA defines first aid as the following:

  • Non-prescription medications
  • Wound coverings
  • Hot or cold therapy
  • Non-rigid means of support, such as wraps and back belts, eye patches, removing splinters, using finger guards and drinking fluids for heat stress 

Find more information on how OSHA defines first aid.

What OSHA Reports are Required?

You must complete a serious event report for any work-related fatality within eight hours. In addition, you must also report any work-related amputations, inpatient hospitalizations, and the loss of any eye within 24 hours of learning of the incident. 

In addition to the serious event report, you must keep a log of work-related injuries and illnesses on OSHA form 300. Any time an incident occurs, you’ll need to record details about what happened and how it happened within seven calendar days.

There’s also a Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illness (OSHA form 300A). This form is filled out annually and needs to include every incident recorded on the form 300 log. 

Need Help?

There’s an excellent summary of how to complete form 300A at OSHA Forms for Recording Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. You can also find all the forms in PDF fillable versions or Microsoft Excel versions at Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Forms – 300, 300A, 301.

Does My Company Need to File OHSA Reports?

Employers with more than 10 employees must keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. However, as mentioned above, you are not required to report first-aid types of injuries. There are also requirements for annual summary reporting.

Employers with fewer than 10 employees, and those in low-risk industries, are exempt from recordkeeping requirements.

How Do You File an OSHA Report?

For serious event incidents, you can call the nearest OSHA office or the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742. You can also report online using the Serious Event Reporting Online Form

  • The serious injury and illness report is OSHA form 301. 
  • The annual OSHA form 300A can be reported online via the Injury Tracking Application

Note: Reporting online requires you to set up an account before filing your report. 

When Are Annual OSHA Reports Due?

As noted above, there are immediate filing requirements for injuries or illnesses. The annual reporting requirements, however, vary by the size of the organization.

Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries, including manufacturing and construction, must submit information from their 2022 Form 300A by March 2, 2023

In addition, establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must also submit information from their 2022 Form 300A by March 2, 2023.

Paper copies of form 300A must be posted in the workplace from February 1 through April 30 so that all employees can review the complete list of injuries and illnesses. 

Learn More OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

Interested in learning more about OSHA recordkeeping? Attend our upcoming free webinar: OSHA Recordkeeping 2023: Are You Ready for the Reporting Deadline?, scheduled for Thursday, January 19th, 2023, at 11 a.m. CST.

Our speakers will take you through reporting requirements and forms, avoiding OSHA recordkeeping violations, and using all this data to train employees and improve safety.

Sign up for our free course today!  


At OECS, our mission is to inspire strong safety cultures that help clients understand OSHA requirements and develop customized safety programs and practices to prevent workplace injuries, including OSHA recordkeeping. 

Connect with us to learn how we can help you build a culture committed to workplace safety. And remember to join us for our free webinar on January 19th, at 11 a.m. CST to learn more about OSHA recordkeeping rules and requirements.