The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive Departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles, which are divided into chapters, which are further divided into parts covering specific regulatory areas.
The general and permanent rules of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) are published under Title 29 of the Code. Those regulations specifically relating to the Recording and Reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses are found under Part 1904, Section .12, .29, .31, .32, . 33, .35, .36, .40, .41 and .42. These sections of Part 1904 are summarized for your convenience and are intended to assist you and your company in property satisfying OSHA’s strict recording and reporting criteria of these particular sections of 29 CFR 1904.
29 CFR 1904.12
Section .12 relates to the recording criteria for cases involving a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (“MSD”). An employer is required to record any MSD in the OSHA 300 Log under the MSD column.
A recordable MSD can be a disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, or spinal discs that have not been caused by slips, trips, falls, motor vehicle accidents or similar type accidents.
Examples of work-related MSD’s include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, DeQuervain’s disease, trigger finger, tarsal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, epicondylitis, tendonitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, carpet layer’s knee, herniated spinal disc, and low back pain.
The above provisions take effect on January 1, 2003. For work-related MSD’s that occurred prior to this date, see recording requirements applicable for any injury or illness under Section 1904.5, Section 1904.6, Section 1904.7 and Section 1904.29.
29 CFR 1904.29
This Section stresses the fact that you must use OSHA Forms 300, 300-A, and 301 or their equivalent, whenever a recordable injury or illness is involved. Form 300 is the Log recording work-related injuries and illnesses. Form 300-A is a Summary of work-related injuries and illness reported on Form 300 and Form 301 is the Injury and Illness Incident Report.
Each recordable injury or illness must be entered on OSHA Forms 300 and 301 within seven calendar days following receipt of information that a recordable injury or illness has occurred.
You must complete a Form 301 Incident Report, or an equivalent form for each recordable injury or illness entered on Form 300.
Note: An equivalent form must be one that records the same information as OSHA Forms 300 and 301, is as readable and understandable, and follows the same instructions, as do the OSHA forms that they replace.
You are allowed to keep records in a computer if the computer is able to produce forms equivalent to the OSHA forms when they are needed. For further information see Section 1904.35 and Section 1904.40.
If a “privacy concern case” is involved you may not enter the employee’s name on Form 300; instead, enter “privacy case” in the space normally used for the employee’s name. However, a separate, convidential list of the case numbers and the employee’s names must be maintained so that these cases can be updated and information concerning them provided to the government upon request. Note, however, MSD’s are not considered to be “privacy concern cases.”
The complete list of injuries and illnesses considered to be “private concern cases” for Section 1904 purposes includes (a) an injury or illness involving an intimate body part or the reproductive system, (b) a mental illness, (c) and HIV infection, Hepatitis, or tuberculosis or (d) needle-stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with other person’s blood or other potentially infectious material.
29 CFR 1904.31
You must record on Form 300 the work-related illnesses and injuries of employees on your payroll, regardless of whether they are laborers, executives, or paid hourly or are salaried, part time, seasonal or migrant workers. You must also record the work-related injuries of employees not on your payroll if you supervise them on a day-to-day basis. This group of employees includes workers obtained from a temporary employment service or supplied by a contractor who are supervised by you or your staff on a daily basis rather than by the company or service providing you with the employees.
29 CFR 1904.32
At the end of the calendar year, you are required to –
• Review the entries made on Form 300 for completeness and accuracy and, when required, correct any apparent deficiencies.
• Prepare and certify an annual summary of all injuries and illnesses recorded on Form 300. A copy of the annual summary must be conspicuously posted in each establishment in a place or places where notices intended for employees are customarily posted. Once posted, you must insure that the annual summary is neither altered, defaced nor covered by other material. Posting must occur no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the Form 300 and remain posted until April 30.
• The company official who certifies the accuracy of the annual summary must state that he or she has examined Form 300 and that he or she believes the information recorded therein is correct and complete to the best of his or her knowledge.
• The company executive so certifying must be an officer of the company or corporation, the highest-ranking company official at the establishment, or a designated supervisor at the establishment.
29 CFR 1904.33
Form 300 (the log), the privacy case list (if one exists), the Annual Summary and Form 301 must be retained for five years following the calendar year covered by these forms.
29 CFR 1904.35
This section requires you to involve your employees and their representatives in the record-keeping system in the following way:
• By instructing each employee how he or she is to report a work-related injury or illness.
• By providing employees and their representatives with the company’s injury and illness record by setting up a system that allows employees to promptly report work-related injuries and illnesses.
• By informing each employee how he or she is to implement this system for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.
• Any employee, former employee or personal representative requesting a copy of Form 301 (Incident Report) describing an injury or illness to that employee or former employee must honor this request no later than the end of the next business day.
29 CFR 1904.36
This section prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who has reported a work-related fatality, injury or illness. It also protects an employee who files a safety and health complaint. This protection also applies to an employee who files a safety and health complaint, asks for access to its Part 1904 records, or otherwise exercises any other rights afforded by OSHA.
29 CFR 1904.40
This section requires the company or the corporation to provide authorized government representatives with copies of records required by Part 1904 within four business hours following their request. Those government representatives authorized to receive these records are representatives of the Secretary of Labor conducting an investigation under the Act, a representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services conducting an investigation under section 20(b) of the Act, or a representative of a state agency responsible for administering a State plan approved under Section 18 of the Act.
29 CFR 1904.41
This section requires any employer receiving OSHA’s annual survey form to complete it and send it to either OSHA or a designee of OSHA. This report requires the employer to provide the following information:
• Number of employees,
• Hours worked by each employee and
• Requested information recorded on forms required by Part 1904.
29 CFR 1904.42
Any employer receiving a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illness Form from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), or a BLS designee, must promptly complete the form and return it to sender following the instructions contained on the survey form.
If you desire more information concerning the above sections please log on to http://www.osha.gov.
– – written by John Loomos, Esq. in 2002