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What Is an OSHA Recordable Incident?


An OSHA recordable incident is an illness or injury that meets defined criteria and must be recorded by an employer on their OSHA log.

incident report

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Labor. OSHA was created in 1970 to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.”

OSHA assists with workplace safety in several important ways, including developing and enforcing standards regarding workplace health and safety, providing training for employers and employees, conducting inspections to ensure compliance with safety standards, providing education to employers and employees, and investigating and responding to complaints. They also take a leading role in promoting a safety culture in the workplace by providing resources and guidance on identifying and preventing hazards and responding to emergencies.

OSHA Recordable Incident: Definition

Simply put, an OSHA-recordable incident is a workplace accident recorded in the employer’s OSHA Log. However, not all workplace injuries and illnesses are required to be recorded on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Log. To be considered a recordable incident, the injury or illness must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Medical Treatment Beyond First Aid
  • Diagnosis of Cancer or Chronic Irreversible Diseases 
  • Day(s) Away from Work 
  • Restricted Work Activity or Job Transfer 
  • Loss of Consciousness 
  • Death 

Unlike other workplace safety and health statistics, which are purely descriptive, the OSHA log provides a way to identify patterns of injuries and illnesses within a workplace. By analyzing these patterns, employers can develop and implement strategies to prevent future incidents. For example, if most recordable incidents involve back strains, the employer may want to consider implementing an ergonomics program.

Similarly, if many incidents occur on a particular shift, the employer may want to review the work procedures for that shift. The OSHA log can also be used to identify workplaces with high rates of injuries and illnesses, which can help OSHA target its enforcement activities.

Keeping Accurate Incident Records

Employers are required, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to maintain accurate records of all workplace injuries and illnesses. And these records should be on-site for a minimum of five years. However, you’ll still find many employers who aren’t keeping accurate records or any at all. If your employer isn’t maintaining accurate records, there are a few things you can do. 

First, try talking to your supervisor or another management member about your concerns. If that doesn’t work, you can file a complaint with OSHA. You can do this anonymously if you prefer. To file a complaint, you’ll need to fill out the online form on OSHA’s website.

Finally, keep in mind that even if your employer isn’t keeping accurate records, you should still report any workplace injuries or illnesses that you experience. By doing so, you can help ensure that your rights are protected, and that unsafe conditions are corrected.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured on the job, it’s important to understand your rights and what steps need to be taken next. The experienced St. Louis work injury lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Hoffman can help you get the compensation you deserve after a workplace injury. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you get back on your feet after an accident at work.

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