The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is giving employers until Jan. 1, 2002, to comply with revised rules for keeping track of workplace injuries and illnesses. Among the changes, the new rules:
- Update three forms. Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, has been simplified and printed on smaller paper; Form 301, Injury and Illness Incident Report, includes more data about how the injury or illness occurred; and
- Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, was updated to make calculating incidence rates easier.
- Create one set of criteria for recording both work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Set new definitions of medical treatment, first aid and restricted work, which will likely affect the number of cases reported.
- Clarify "light duty" or restricted work cases, defining those as when an employee is restricted from work activities he regularly performs at least once a week.
- Prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report injuries or illnesses. Also let employee representatives, such as union leaders, have access to parts of the OSHA 301 form.
- Include privacy restrictions, such as prohibiting writing an employee's name on Form 300 for certain illnesses and injuries.
The new rules also add and subtract certain industries from the list of those required to keep records. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from most requirements, just as they are now. For more information on the new rules, which appeared in the Federal Register on Jan. 19, visit OSHA online at www.osha-slc.gov/recordkeeping.