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16.13: Record-Keeping Requirements

  • Page ID
    47158
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    Learning Objectives
    • Summarize OSH Act record-keeping requirements

    A young factory worker in overalls works on an industrial lathe, cutting and turning the breech-ring component of a Bofors anti-aircraft gun.

    In general, employers with more than 10 employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. A recordable injury or illness includes the following:[1]

    • Any work-related fatality.
    • Any work-related injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job.
    • Any work-related injury or illness requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.
    • Any work-related diagnosed case of cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones or teeth, and punctured eardrums.
    • There are special recording criteria for work-related cases involving needlesticks and sharps injuries; medical removal; hearing loss; and tuberculosis; refer to the linked page for specific criteria.

    Minor injuries—specifically, those requiring first aid only—do not need to be recorded. Employers in low-risk industries are exempted from the recording rule unless otherwise notified in writing. Industries that are designated as low risk are identified by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and listed on the Partially Exempt page on OSHA’s website. Examples of industries that are exempt from recording include Florists, Health and Personal Care Stores, Legal Services and Junior Colleges.

    Decorative image.

    Note that “all employers, including those partially exempted by reason of company size or industry classification, must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in a fatality, in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.”[2]

    Employers must report any worker fatality within 8 hours and any amputation, loss of an eye, or hospitalization of a worker within 24 hours. Reports can be submitted online or by calling the nearest OSHA office or OSHA’s 24-hour hotline.

    Injury and illness records must be maintained on site for at least five years. Each February through April, employers are required to post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. If requested, copies of the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300) must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives. Employers must also provide employees or their authorized representatives access to their medical records and exposure records.


    1. "OSHA Injury and Illness Record-Keeping and Reporting Requirements." Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor. Accessed August 20, 2019. ↵
    2. "Non-Mandatory Appendix A to Subpart B – Partially Exempt Industries." Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor. Accessed August 20, 2019. ↵

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