Photo of Professionals at McConnell Wagner Sykes + Stacey PLLC

What should and shouldn’t be reported to OSHA

If you own a business in Idaho with more than 10 employees, you are probably required to keep accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. Unless your business qualifies for an exemption, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, requires employers to keep 300 logs and 300 A summary records.

Your logs should be accurate, not over reported

While you are legally obligated to report all workplace injuries and illnesses, over reporting non-work-related incidents could cause unnecessary headaches. Your business is more likely to be scrutinized by OSHA enforcement programs if you report a higher than normal injury rate.

Another problem that over reporting can cause is the loss of lucrative contracts for your business. It’s important that whoever is tasked with keeping OSHA logs for your business understands employment law and the implications of over reporting workplace accidents.

What should be reported

Only work-related injuries or illnesses should be reported in OSHA logs. That means that the injury or illness occurred at work or because of a work condition. Typically, injuries or illnesses that become apparent while an employee is working are presumed to be work-related. However, this is not always the case.

What should not be reported

Injuries and illnesses that should not be reported in OSHA logs are those that occur outside of work or because of non-work-related factors. If an employee gets injured while they are off the clock, their injury is probably not work related. Other incidents that are not reportable include:

• Injuries or illnesses that result from voluntary participation in recreational activities at work.

• Injuries or illnesses caused by eating or drinking at break times.

• Injuries or illnesses that result from non-work-related horseplay.

Every situation is unique

Determining if an injury or illness is work-related is not always cut-and-dry. The unique factors involved in every incident should be looked at carefully so that OSHA logs are as accurate as possible.