The OSHA 300 Log is a record of illnesses and injuries that arise from exposures
in the work environment. The log is kept by an employer for the use of the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is
very extensive and covers most private employers in the United States. (OSHA
does not apply to state government.) However, the keeping of an OSHA 300 Log has been limited by regulations, to permit OSHA to concentrate its safety
efforts on high- risk industries.
The OSHA act itself exempts religious establishments and employers of
household workers. These are very limited exemptions. A church is not covered
under OSHA if it employs only individuals who perform religious services;
employees who carry out secular duties are covered under OSHA. A large
church may not have to consider the ministers under OSHA regulations, but the
secretaries and maintenance workers are covered. Household workers are the
maids and babysitters that work in an individual home. Cleaning services and
home health nurses do not fall under the exemption.
Even if the employer is regulated by OSHA, it may not be required to keep an
OSHA 300 Log. Small employers and employers in low-hazard industries are not
required to keep the log. Small employers are defined as those who had no
more than 10 employees at any time during the previous calendar year. This is
an absolute limit of 10 employees, not an average or a full-time equivalent. An
employer who has eight part-time employees who are with him all year and
three employees who only last a month has eleven employees for the year and
is not exempt.
Low-hazard industries are generally retail trade and service industries. This
includes such activities as sales of cars, clothes, and furniture; financial or legal
service industries, such as banking, insurance, and real estate; and eating
establishments. It does not include sales and service industries with a
moderate or high rate of injuries such as garden supplies, food stores, hotels
and motels, repair services, amusement and recreation, or health services
It is noteworthy that hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other medical care
service industires are not exempt from OSHA regulation or the OSHA 300 Log.
This is true whether they are for-profit, not-for- profit, or owned by a church.
The keeping of the OSHA 300 Log is the responsibility of the employer. A
separate log is kept for each establishment or business location and the
manager determines what entries are made. There are fines up to $70,000 for
false entries in an OSHA log and it is just as bad to make too many entries as
too few. The entries are simple and straightforward and they are expected to
The following information is required in an OSHA 300 Log:
Case or file number
Date of injury or onset of illness
Description of injury or illness
Extent or outcome of injury or type, extent of, and outcome of illness
The extent of injury or illness is defined by whether there were lost work days,
whether these days involved restricted work activity or days away from work
and whether the injury or illness was fatal. For illnesses, the log must note
which of seven categories of occupational illness is involved.