Hi there, reader! This is an older post. The stuff in here is still good and accurate, but know that we also have a newer post that looks at OSHA’s new online reporting requirements if that’s what you’re really searching for.
In our previous post, we explained how you can determine if an injury or illness is “work-related” and “recordable.”
In this post, we’ll explain one of the first steps to take if you do have a work-related, recordable injury or illness at the workplace: complete OSHA’s Form 301, Injury and Illness Report.
When Should You Complete The Form?
You must complete the Injury and Illness Incident Report within seven calendar days after you receive information that a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred at your work place.
Remember, our earlier blog post will help you determine if an injury or illness is work-related and recordable.
Can You Fill Out Other Forms Instead?
In some cases, OSHA will consider forms you fill out for state workers’ compensation, insurance, or other reports “equivalent” to Form 301. To be considered equivalent, the alternate form must include all of the information that’s included on OSHA’s Form 301.
How Long Must You Keep the Completed Form 301 on Record?
For at least five years following the year in which the incident occurred.
Is The Information on the Form Confidential?
According to a note on the form, “This form contains information relating to employee health and must be used in a manner that protects the confidentiality of employers to the extent possible while the information is being used for occupational safety and health purposes.”
In addition, OSHA instructions for filling out the form say “If you have a reasonable basis to believe that information describing the privacy concern case may be personally identifiable even though the employee’s name has been omitted, you may use discretion in describing the injury or illness on both the OSHA 300 and 301 forms. You must enter enough information to identify the cause of the incident and the general severity of the injury or illness, but you do not need to include details of an intimate or private nature.” (This may make more sense once you’ve read about “privacy cases” when filling out Form 300.)
Where Can You Download Copies of the Form?
Click here to download Form 301 (along with other injury/illness forms from OSHA and instructions for completing them).
Any Tips That Would Help Fill Out the Form?
Most of the form is pretty self-explanatory. But, it does help to know that when item 10 asks you to fill in the “Case number from the Log,” it is referring to the case number for the injury or illness once it’s recorded in OSHA’s Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
Once you complete Form 301, you will then go ahead and complete Form 300. At that point, you can take the case number from Form 300 and record it in line 10 of Form 301.
See future blog posts for more information about Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; and Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.