Understanding OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirement for Injury and Illnesses

OSHA requires that certain covered employers maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA Form 300 log. These logs permit employers and workers as well as OSHA to evaluate workplace safety, then implement protections to minimize and/or eliminate hazards. 

OSHA partially exempts two classes of employers from routinely keeping injury and illness records: 

First, employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness Form 300 recordsEven with OSHA’s 2015 revised recordkeeping regulation this exemption still exists. 

Second, certain businesses in low-hazard industries are also partially exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records.

Historically, dental offices have been classified as a low-hazard industry. Even though OSHA’s updated recordkeeping rules (effective January 1, 2015) now require certain previously exempt industries to maintain the Form 300 log, dental offices continue to be partially exempt and are not required to maintain it.

Bear in mind, however, that there is another aspect of the 2015 update is that all employers, regardless of the size of the business, must report to OSHA:

  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours. 

Even though your practice is exempt from maintaining the OSHA Form 300 log, it’s always wise to regularly review safety protocols in your office, identify hazards and implement appropriate safeguards.