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New OSHA Record-Keeping Requirements

Changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) record-keeping requirements will become effective January 1, 2002. (Some employers continue to be exempt from most requirements. Exempt employers include employers with 10 or fewer employees, and employers in certain low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance and real estate industries.)

Some of the key changes include:

  • Changing the exemptions for employers in the retail and service industries, i.e., some establishments that were exempt under the old rule will now be required to keep OSHA records and some that had to keep records will now be exempt;
  • Creating six classifications of “privacy concern cases” for which the employee’s name may not be entered on the OSHA forms and a separate record must be maintained;
  • Eliminating different criteria for recording work-related injuries and work-related illnesses; one set of criteria will be used for both;
  • Clarifying the definition of “work-related” applicable to illnesses and injuries that occur “while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of work rather than to the general home environment or setting”;
  • Changing the recording of needlestick injuries and tuberculosis; and
  • Expanding the recording requirements to include injuries and illnesses of an employee from a temporary help service, employee leasing service, or of a contractor, if the establishment, where the injury or illness occurred, supervises the employee on a day-to-day basis.

The regulations update three record-keeping forms. The OSHA-300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA-300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) replace the OSHA-200 Log, and the OSHA-301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) replaces the OSHA-101 form. Copies of the forms can be obtained on OSHA’s web site at A covered employer must complete an OSHA-301 incident report for every recordable illness or injury and record specific information on the OSHA 300 log within 7 calendar days of receiving information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.

OSHA recently announced that it will delay for one year the effective date of three other provisions of its regulations. The provisions postponed until January 1, 2003 are the criteria for recording work-related hearing loss, the rules defining musculoskeletal disorder (“MSD”), and the requirement that employers check the MSD column on the OSHA Log.


October 31, 2001




Bacharach, Charles R.
Kellner, Robert C.