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Do I Need to Record COVID-19 Illnesses on OSHA Form 300?

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What is OSHA Form 300?


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act of 1970 requires most employers with 10 or more full-time employees to prepare and maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses (Form 300). Form 300 is used to classify work-related injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case.



When is an injury or illness considered work-related?


An injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a preexisting condition. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the workplace, unless an exception specifically applies. The work environment includes the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment.



What Kinds of Injuries or Illnesses Should Be Reported?


All medical treatment beyond first aid must be reported to OSHA. Employers must record all new cases of work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses if they involve:

· death,

· days away from work,

· restricted work or transfer to another job,

· medical treatment beyond first aid,

· loss of consciousness, or

· a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.


COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties.

However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are true:

1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19;

2. The case is work-related (illness was contracted at work); and

3. The case results in a fatality or an employee’s in-patient hospitalization.


Each recordable injury or illness case must be recorded on the OSHA 300 Log and the Form 301 Incident Report within seven calendar days after the employer receives notice that the injury or illness occurred.


Employers also have to phone OSHA to report injuries in the event of a work-related fatality or if three or more employees are hospitalized as the result of a work-related incident.



Privacy Concerns


The following types of injuries or illnesses are considered privacy concern cases:

· an injury or illness to an intimate body part or to the reproductive system,

· an injury or illness resulting from a sexual assault,

· a mental illness,

· a case of HIV infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis,

· a needle stick injury or cut from a sharp object that is contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious material, and

· other illnesses, if the employee independently and voluntarily requests that his or her name not be entered on the log.


As an employer, you must not enter the employee’s name on the OSHA 300 Log for these cases. Instead, enter “privacy case” in the space normally used for the employee’s name. You must keep a separate, confidential list of the case numbers and employee names for the establishment’s privacy concern cases so that you can update the cases and provide information to the government if asked to do so. Note that these actions must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).



Posting OSHA Form 300A


The OSHA form 300-A log must be posted every year by February 1st of the following year, summarizing all injuries from the previous year. Employers are required to post the Summary in a visible location so that the employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses occurring in their workplace.

As of January 16, 2021, the maximum penalties for posting requirements is $13,653 per violation; $13,653 per day for failure to abate; and $136,532 for willful or repeat violations.


Also note that Employers must save the OSHA 300 Log, the Form 300-A (annual summary), privacy case lists, and the Form 301 Incident Report forms for five (5) years.



If you have questions about completing any of OSHA’s record-keeping forms, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with an IBEC expert. We’d be happy to help!


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