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The Fundamentals of OSHA Recordkeeping

Toby Graham /
OSHA's Form 300 image

How well do you know your Occupational Health and Safety Administration recordkeeping requirements? Can you name the differences between Form 301, Form 300, and Form 300A? How about the timelines for submitting each document to OSHA?

If regulatory paperwork makes your head spin, have no fear—the workforce safety and compliance professionals at KPA are here to help. We’ve created a quick guide to the fundamentals of OSHA recordkeeping and reporting procedures. Continue reading to learn what information needs to be included on each form, how to transmit those forms to OSHA, and important dates for posting and filing.

(For more guidance on OSHA recordkeeping, check out our previous articles: “OSHA Recordkeeping: Do You Really Need to Do It?” and “How to Record and Report Workplace Injuries and Illnesses to OSHA, in 3 Steps.”)

OSHA Form 301 

What it is: OSHA’s Form 301 is the basic incident report after a workplace injury or illness. It collects information about the particulars of an event: the time and location of the incident, which employee or employees were involved, what occurred before and after the incident, the physician or health care professional who tended to the employee or employees, and so forth. Employers can choose to use Form 301 or another document (e.g. an instant report provided by the company’s insurance carrier or workers’ compensation carrier) as long as that document contains information equivalent to what would be found on Form 301. When it needs to be reported: An OSHA 301 Form (or equivalent document) needs to be filled out within seven calendar days of a notification of a reportable work-related injury or illness. The form must be retained onsite for at least 5 years.

OSHA Form 300 

What it is: The OSHA 300 Form is an annual log of recordable cases. Every incident that requires Form 301 must also be included on that year’s Form 300. For each reportable incident, the form logs the name of the injured employee, the employee’s job title, the date and location of the injury, the kind of injury that occurred, and a brief description of the event. Form 300 also includes boxes to check for cases that involved death, time away from work, and job transfers. When a compliance officer requests information about workplace safety, they’re usually looking for Form 300—they want to review the number and severity of incidents over the past year. The shorter your Form 300, the better. 

When it needs to be reported: See Form 300A (below).

OSHA 300A 

What it is: OSHA 300A summarizes all cases recorded on Form 300 for a given year.  Total work-related injuries and illnesses are tallied and categorized according to severity: deaths, cases with days away from work, cases with job transfers/restrictions, and other recordable cases. The form also shows the total number of missed work days and job transfers/restrictions, as well as the total numbers of incident types (injuries, skin disorders, respiratory problems, poisonings, hearing losses, and all other illnesses). Employee names are left out.

When it needs to be reported: Form 300A must be posted in a visible area of the workplace from February 1st through April 30th of the year following the year in which the incidents were recorded. The form must be signed by a “certifying official” (e.g. a company executive).

Submitting Forms to OSHA

Generally speaking, you don’t need to mail forms to OSHA. However, if your facility receives a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Form (CFR 1904.42 – Recordkeeping and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics or their designee, you must complete the form and return it following the instructions. Your facility may also need to electronically report accident information to OSHA.

Many companies are required to submit information electronically to OSHA.

  • Organizations with 250 or more employees at a single establishment must file all forms—301, 300, and 300A.
  • Organizations with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries (such as commercial truck shops, automotive parts manufacturers, and transportation facilities) must submit Form 300A.
  • Organizations with fewer than 20 employees at all times during the year do not have to routinely submit information electronically to OSHA.

Organizations can submit reports electronically through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application, available online at osha.gov/injuryreporting/ita.

But, this is where KPA’s EHS software comes in handy. Accidents happen.  And when they do, you need to capture information quickly to ensure both swift action and proper reporting. Capture all the details accurately using a mobile, wizard-based accident reporting form that guides you through the reporting process.

For more information about OSHA reporting and recordkeeping, register for our webinar: OSHA Reporting & You.


Hazard Communication Program Grader

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard is designed the help you inform your employees about dangerous chemicals in the workplace. It’s a set of rules that covers labeling and tracking chemicals, as well as employee training on chemicals. 

We’ve developed this brief quiz to see how your Hazard Communication Program stacks up.

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Hazard communication quiz

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