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OSHA Alert: New 300 Log Annual Reporting Requirements Are in Effect

  • February 1, 2003

All employers maintaining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's 300 Logs for workplace injuries and illnesses must have posted the 2002 annual summary by February 1, 2003. This was the first annual posting for records maintained under the substantially revised OSHA recordkeeping rule that went into effect January 1, 2002 (see Fall/Winter 2001 Preventive Strategies). Employers must utilize a new annual summary form (form 300A) when complying with the posting requirements. The form is available for downloading from the OSHA website.

Executive Certification: The revised rule requires a certification, in addition to the signature of the person preparing the summary, by a company executive. OSHA has identified four (4) specific management officials who it considers to be a "company executive" for purposes of certifying the 300A Logs. These individuals are (1) an owner of the company, (2) an officer of the corporation, (3) the highest ranking company official working at the establishment, or (4) the immediate supervisor of the highest ranking company official working at the establishment. This official must certify that he has reviewed the related records and that he reasonably believes, based on his knowledge of the process underlying the development of the data, that the posted summary is accurate and complete. OSHA describes this new requirement as imposing "senior management accountability" for the integrity and accuracy of the reported date.

Number of Employees and Hours Worked: The revised rule requires employers to include a calculation of the annual average number of employees covered by the Log and the total hours worked by all covered employees. The purpose of this requirement is to help employers compare the relative frequency of significant occupational injuries and illnesses at their workplace as compared to other establishments.

Extended Posting Period: The posting period has been increased to three months, from February 1st to April 30th. The former rule required the annual summary to remain posted for one month, i.e., during the month of February following the year to which the Log applied. This change was a compromise from the proposed rule, which would have required year-round posting.

Record Review: Before the annual summary is prepared, the revised rule imposes an express duty on the employer to review the Log (form 300) to verify that entries are complete and accurate. Employers must review the records as "extensively as necessary" to ensure their accuracy, but OSHA has stated it did not intend to impose a formal audit procedure requirement on employers.

No "Special Delivery" Requirement: Employers are no longer required to hand-deliver or mail a copy of the annual summary to employees who did not work at a single establishment or report to a fixed establishment on a regular basis during the report year.

Finally, employers should be aware that they are under a duty to ensure that the posted annual summary is not altered, defaced or obscured during the entire posting period.

If you have any questions regarding this significant development in Part 1904 recordkeeping, please contact the Jackson Lewis OSHA Practice Group.

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