The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers to post a company’s accidents each year and to keep records concerning worker incidents. A number of specific industries in the retail, service, finance, insurance, and real estate sectors that are classified as low hazard are exempt from most posting requirements, as are small businesses with fewer than ten employees.
OSHA requires employers to record only injuries and illnesses that are work-related. In general, injuries and illnesses are considered work-related if events or exposures at work either caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a pre- existing injury or illness.
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 or the hospitalization of three or more employees. Accident and illness reporting that invades the privacy of employees is curtailed by the new rules, which went into effect on 1 January 2003. Employee names should be withheld from the workplace log for certain injuries, including those caused by sexual assaults. The names of employees involving injuries or illnesses from incidents involving HIV infection and mental illnesses are also left off the log. Employers are allowed to leave further information off the injury log if it would identify the employee.
The following self-inspection checklist is designed for the business employer. It is derived from government sources, but is not all-inclusive, and identifies select areas or employer posting and recordkeeping requirements. Copies of the employer posting forms can be obtained on OSHA’s Web site at http://www.osha.gov.
|Is the required OSHA workplace poster displayed in a prominent location?|
|Are emergency telephone numbers posted?|
|Where employees may be exposed to any toxic substances or harmful physical agents, are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) readily available for review by affected employees?|
|Are signs, concerning exits, room capacities, floor loading, biohazards, exposures to x-ray, microwave, or other harmful radiation or substances, posted where appropriate?|
|Is the Summary of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries (OSHA Form 300) posted in the month of February?|
|Are all occupational injuries or illnesses, except minor injuries requiring only first aid, being recorded, as required, on the OSHA Form 300 log?|
|Are employees’ medical records and records of employees’ exposure to hazardous substances or harmful physical agents up-to-date and in compliance with current OSHA standards?|
|Are employees’ training records kept and accessible for review by OSHA?|
|Have arrangements been made to maintain required records for the legal period of time for each specific type record? (Some records must be maintained for at least 40 years.)|
|Are operating permits and records up-to-date for such items as elevators, air pressure tanks, and liquefied petroleum gas tanks?|
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