The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, is an agency of the United States Department of Labor, and its mission is 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.” Its role is to ensure that every commercial entity provides each of its employees with a safe and secure work environment. OSHA is constantly observing how companies handle emergencies and situations where safety may be compromised. They require most companies to record issues and complaints and report them to OSHA offices.
According to OSHA, the importance of recordkeeping is a critical part of an employer’s safety and health efforts for a few reasons:
OSHA has strict requirements when it comes to keeping accurate records. For example, if a company has more than 10 workers, it is required to maintain records of all serious injuries that are related to work. Any minor injuries that do not require a visit to the doctor aren’t mandatory for reporting. There are also certain industries that are lower risk and not required to maintain these records.
To remain in compliance with OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, you must understand two important things. First, you need to know what the definition is of a recordable illness or injury. According to OSHA, recordable illnesses or injuries are:
Next, you must also understand what constitutes first aid. First aid is medically-related attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs and at the location where it occurred such as cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin, or using wound coverings or any non-rigid means of support, etc. It is any short-term or one-time treatment performed using minimal technology or training by the person who administered the first aid.
These two distinctions will determine whether an injury or illness must be reported according to OSHA standards. Injuries that do not require medical treatment beyond first aid are generally not considered as recordable, however you should refer to OSHA for a complete list. This type of information will help maintain a safe environment within the workplace and allow employers to provide the necessary equipment that will keep their employees safe.
Another consideration to achieve compliance is to understand your recordkeeping process. OSHA requires that three different forms be used to keep accurate records when it comes to reporting injuries and illnesses. They are forms 300, 300A, and 301. Each of these forms comes with specific instructions on how to complete them. Each form requires specific information that OSHA uses to help keep an accurate profile for every company.
Obtaining a copy of OSHA Recordkeeping Regulations (29 CFR 1904) will have all the information a company needs to fulfil all its obligations and remain in compliance with all of OSHA’s recordkeeping processes. It’s important to make sure that all these processes are thoroughly understood and followed to the letter.
OSHA now uses the ITA or Injury Tracking Application that allows employers to submit the information from their 300A forms. Any employer who is required to submit the information that pertains to work-related injuries must submit their forms in a timely fashion. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain guidelines have been put in place. At this time, the only document that must be submitted electronically is the OSHA 300A. This is the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. All other forms, primarily the 300 and 301 can be submitted manually.
The ever-evolving OSHA provisions and associated deadlines make it harder for organizations to keep up and can be a major challenge for time and costs. Also, several states are enforcing these updates differently which makes it more complicated and time-consuming. To stay in compliance, employers, health care providers, and payors need to stay updated and well informed about the federal changes as well as the implementation of their state’s OSHA plan.
With the right solution, expert guidance, and collaboration within your stakeholders, your organization can successfully navigate and implement OSHA’s reporting and recordkeeping. Here’s where to start:
Here are the top 5 best practices to help your organization on ways that can leverage and strengthen your approach towards achieving compliance in OSHA recordkeeping:
Remaining in compliance with OSHA standards is an important part of doing business. According to OSHA they have required businesses across the United States to submit workplace illness and injury reports digitally since July 2018 with noncompliance fees starting at over $10,000. Unfortunately, several organizations have yet to make the shift to managing their employee health and safety data digitally.
As technology becomes widespread in every industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is evaluating how technology can help streamline EHS processes that provide operational and safety visibility and guide in record-keeping of data. According to Verdantix, an independent research firm, organizations are increasingly adopting EHS software for a wide range of uses. Verdantix stated that “Xybion has designed its platform with consideration of the complex and ever-evolving landscape of EHS regulatory compliance.” Today, the out-of-the-box digital solution takes the complexity out of meeting OSHA’s new reporting guidelines and helping organizations to successfully shift towards digital transformation. Emidence XD is a state-of-the-art, innovative solution to manage Workforce Health, Medical Care, Case, OSHA Reporting, Workers’ Comp, and Compliance Management. Emidence XD is revolutionizing the new paradigm of digital transformation by enabling organizations to create a safer workplace that helps reduce risks and costs while improving employee health and safety.
Thus, staying in compliance with OSHA’s guidelines and regulations is a game-changer for businesses to embrace digital transformation to modernize their key business processes. With the right EHS software, your organization can keep all incident reports in a single database making reporting on employee incidents easier, bringing new data insights, and providing more visibility across the business. At Xybion, we are committed to helping highly regulated companies on taking a holistic approach towards a more digital working environment while maintaining compliance. Adapting the right Workplace Health and Safety platform will help you move forward in this new digital era of employee health and safety.
With so many EHS solutions available, how can you effectively choose the right platform for your company? Let these considerations guide you through the process:
The industry is shifting to a centralized EHS platform to improve workplace safety, increase efficiency, and reduce employee incidents.