Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Form 301, “Injury and Illness Incident Report,” is used by employers to keep a record of a single injury, illness, or death in a workplace. This form is found within OSHA Form 300, which is used to log and classify all such incidents for a workplace. Each incident recorded on OSHA Form 300 must also be documented in greater detail on OSHA Form 301.
OSHA considers injuries and illnesses to be recordable if they are serious, directly related to an employee’s work, and happen while the worker is doing their job. Recordable injuries include:
Injuries or illnesses that cause unconsciousness, days off from work, restricted work, or job transfers
Diagnosed cancer, irreversible chronic conditions, broken teeth or bones, and punctured eardrums
Injuries requiring professional care
Minor injuries that only require first aid, like a bandage or ice pack, don’t have to be recorded. Also, different rules apply for certain conditions including tuberculosis and hearing loss. Visit the OSHA website for more details about the regulations for recordable injuries and illnesses.
Only businesses in industries that have a high risk of serious employee injury or illness are required to complete OSHA Form 301. To see a list of those industries, click here.To see which lower-risk industries are exempt from this requirement, click here. There is also an exemption for employers in all industries who have no more than 10 employees.
Separately, all employers are required to quickly report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a death, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. This separate reporting requirement can be met by calling OSHA or completing their Serious Event Reporting Online Form.
To create a complete record of an incident, OSHA Form 301 asks for a variety of information, including:
Basic information about the employee, such as name, address, and when hired
The date and time of the incident
What the employee was doing just before the incident
How the injury or illness occurred
What part of the body was affected
Any object or substance that directly harmed the employee during the incident
Name of healthcare provider
Where treatment was given
Whether the employee was hospitalized
The date of death if the employee passed away
Employers must fill out OSHA Form 301 no later than seven days after they learn of a recordable workplace injury or illness. However, they may choose to fill out an alternative form instead as long as it includes all of the same information as OSHA Form 301. These equivalent forms might come from an insurance company, worker’s compensation, or other sources.
Employers don’t have to submit a completed Form 301 to OSHA. Instead, they need to keep it on file for at least five years after the year the incident occurred. Accurate injury and illness records help employers create a safer workplace, and if questions arise about an incident, OSHA Form 301 can help resolve any disputes and ensure both employer and employee are treated fairly.