OSHA 300 Log
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 industries.
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 be correct.
The following information is required in an OSHA 300 Log:
Case or file number
Date of injury or onset of illness
Employee’s name
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.