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Accident Recordkeeping

OSHA’s Recordkeeping Standard (29CFR1904) requires businessess, including veterinary practices, to record the details of some injuries that happen while staff members are working.  Under the rules, all businesses must keep a written record of any incident that results in the injury to a worker.  That written record can be the official OSHA Form 301 - Injury and Illness Incident Report or it can be any other form the business chooses as long as it contains details such as date, name, description of injury, location and circumstances under which the injury happened, the name of any medical professional or hospital that examined or treated the employee.  It's common for practices to use the insurance company report form or a state worker's compensation report form as their record of the incident.  There is no need to duplicate efforts and use two forms for the same action; however, there are times when an accident is recordable but no claim to the insurance will be filed.  It's important to separate the need to record the injury and the need to file a claim.

There are some times when an employee is injured while "at work" but the injury is not considered a work-related incident.  Be so be sure to read this section on Is it work related?

If the business has continually had 10 or fewer employees during the calendar year, then no other paperwork is required.  The accident forms should be filed so that they can be retrieved easily but they should be treated as semi-confidential.  Normally, accident forms are not filed in the employee's personnel file but in a separate file by business year.  Keep all supporting documents related to the incident together with the accident form.

If the business has had 11 or more employees at any time in the preceeding year, then in addition to the accident form (Form 301), the following records are required for the entire year:

OSHA Form 300 is a log that allows the manager of medium to large businesses to spot trends in workplace accidents.  It's easy to think of the OSHA 300 log as a "Table of Contents" to all the individual accident forms.  the log must be current to within 6 days.  That means the safety director or manager must post individual cases to the log throughout the year as they happen and not wait until the end of the year to create the log. As with the individual accident forms, the Form 300 log should be treated as confidential and shared only with safety directors or managers with a need to know the information.

  Although individual employees are not entitled to know personal information of other employees, they are entitled to know the frequency and severity of the injuries that happen in their workplace.  OSHA Form 300A is the Annual Summary used for that purpose. OSHA Form 300A is completed by the manager using data from the OSHA Form 300 log.  The OSHA Form 300A Summary does not contain any personal information about those employees who were injured but merely gives the quantity and categorization of injuries that occurred. 

OSHA Form 300A must be completed and POSTED for employees to view no later than February 1 of the year following the data.  It must remain POSTED until at least April 30 of the year following the data.  Be sure to keep copies of past years' forms as proof that the business complied with the rules.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, new reporting rules go into effect.  Under the new rules, employers with 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from their Form 300A to OSHA by July 1, of the year following the collection of the data.  In 2019, the deadline for submission is shortened to March 2 of the year following the collection of the data.   OSHA expects to have the submission site available in February 2017.

Businesses with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries will also be required to submit information electonically.  This DOES NOT include veterinary practices with 20-249 employees. (Note: The NAICS for Veterinary Services is 541940).

Reporting Fatalities or Severe Injuries to OSHA

All employers, regardless of their size are required to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. A fatality must be reported within 8 hours. An in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss must be reported within 24 hours.  To Make a report call the nearest OSHA office, call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) or file a report online

In states with their own OSHA programs, reporting requirements are essentially the same as the federal rules.  Click here to see a list of state plan reporting requirements:

Retention of Records

All accident documents (including logs) must be retained for at least 5 years.  The current year's forms are normally kept on site but past years' documents can be relocated off site for storage as long as they are "readily retreivable."


Click here to go to OSHA's Recordkeeping web page:

Click here to get the OSHA Forms:



Did You Know...?

Starting in 2017, large employers (more than 250 employees) are required to electronically report accident summary data to OSHA.