by Josh Barnhart, Senior Proactive Risk Executive
Am I Required To Electronically File My OSHA 300 Summary Form?
Construction contractors and contractors in general have been asking this question for years with conflicting responses. Some websites say “Yes” if the business has more than 10 employees. Another says “Yes” but only if you have more than 20-249 employees. Additionally, state-specific regulatory agencies have their own requirements, leaving small business owners with 10-19 employees very confused as to what their responsibilities may be.
What Is The Purpose Of An OSHA 300 Log?
To better understand the requirements, it’s important to identify the purpose of an OSHA 300 Log and the material reported on the form. The law requires employers to use the OSHA Form 300 to record all reportable injuries and illnesses that occur in the workplace, where and when they occur, the nature of the case, the name and job title of the employee injured or made sick, and the number of days away from work or on restricted or light duty, if any.
What Qualifies As A Reportable Incident?
An OSHA reportable incident is any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job. Also, any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond minor first aid is deemed a reportable incident.
To clarify the reporting requirements, I spent time reviewing the US Department of Labor website, contacting their help desk, and speaking with Gavin Anderson from our local MOSH (Maryland Occupational Safety and Health) office in Hagerstown, MD. Gavin clarified that OSHA requires every company to complete and retain OSHA logs for all OSHA reportable incidents if they employ 10 or more employees in a Calendar Year unless they are classified as a low-risk exempt industry. It does not matter if they maintain 11 or more, but only if they have more than 10 at any given time in the previous calendar year.
You may be asking, “what about the OSHA statement relevant to 20-249 employees? Isn’t that clearly stated by OSHA on their website, as reported in the recent KPA Risk Management email?” As shared in the recent Keller Stonebraker? KPA Periodic Update email for the week of February 27, 2020, the OSHA requirement for reporting is 20-249 employees for establishments in particular NAICS industries.
This email refers to OSHA’s “electronic submission” benchmark of 20-249 employees. If an employer has 20-249 employees at any one time in the previous calendar year, they are required to electronically file their OSHA 300 Summary Log. If an employer has 11-19 employees at any one time in the previous calendar year, they are still required to maintain an OSHA 300 log, however they are not required to electronically submit it. They are required to post their OSHA Summary report in their establishment from the dates of February 1 – April 30, they just don’t have to electronically submit it… Yet.
Potential Changes Are Coming
After further conversation with Gavin Anderson, he stated, “I expect the employee count reporting requirement to drop to 10 employees very soon, so don’t change your recommendation to have your insureds electronically submit their OSHA 300 Summary report… You are Proactively preparing them for changes that could take affect very soon…”