What You Need to Know about Recordables

By Anna Kleiner | 02/07/2018

Recordables are work-related injuries that meet certain Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reporting requirements. Knowing what to report is a must for most employers, but navigating OSHA’s recordable regulations can be overwhelming.

To help, we’ve prepared a cheat sheet with answers to some of the most common questions about recordables.

1. What are recordables?

Recordables are work-related injuries that:

  • Need medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Require time off work
  • Require a job transfer or a restricted duty plan
  • Cause loss of consciousness or death
  • Involve a cut from something contaminated with another person’s bodily fluids or other potentially infectious materials

“Work-related” also doesn’t mean that the injury only happens in the workplace. Injuries can also be work-related if something at work made a pre-existing condition worse.

However, not every injury or illness with symptoms first noticed at work is a recordable. Injuries caused by natural disasters aren’t recordables. Colds aren’t recordable. If an employee is injured eating their lunch or doing personal grooming or intentionally hurts themselves at work, that also isn’t a recordable incident. The full list of OSHA’s recordable requirements can be found on their website.

2. What is first aid?

Think of a first aid kit. It isn’t designed to care for serious injuries, but it can be a big help to assist with a splinter or scrapes. Some examples of things that OSHA considers first aid include:

  • Using non-prescription medication at non-prescription strength
  • Using a sling while transporting an accident victim
  • Using an eye patch
  • Removing splinters with tweezers
  • Using a band aid or gauze pad

Generally, injuries that extend beyond this can be considered a recordable, if it meets certain criteria. For more examples of what is considered first aid, be sure to visit section 1904.7(b)(5)(ii) on OSHA’s website.

3. Does every employer have to report recordables?

Whether or not you have to report recordables depends on five things:

  1. The size of your company
  2. Your industry
  3. If OSHA has told you to track recordables
  4. If an employee dies in a work-related fatality
  5. If one or more employees are hospitalized due to a work-related incident

If your company has ten employees or fewer—and you didn’t have more than ten employees at any point during the calendar year—you don’t have to track recordables unless OSHA or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells you in writing that you’re required to do so.

That said, even if your company is small, you may still be required to track recordables if you’re in certain industries. You can find out if your industry is exempt (or not) by following OSHA’s instructions.

4. How do I track recordables?

OSHA has specific forms for employers to track recordables.

  • OSHA Form 300, which is a log of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA Form 300A, which is a summary of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA Form 301, which is the injury and illness incident report

You can also use equivalent forms if they have the same information, like an insurance form. Learn more about what forms are required on OSHA’s recordkeeping site. It’s important for employers to educate employees on reporting workplace injuries to their supervisor, to help determine if it meets required elements of a recordable or if it can be treated with basic first aid supplies.

Now that you know the basics, visit OSHA’s recordable regulations site to learn more about all the specifics of recordables. If you’re good on basics and looking for more, sign up to talk to us about how we can help you control recordables in your workforce.