The Importance of Managing Your OSHA Forms

Your company may have a pristine safety record, but that won’t exempt you from filing a properly detailed OSHA 300 log. That’s what happened to Bergelectric when an incident case was brought to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), resulting in a $1,630 fine for violations in their OSHA Form 300.

Bergelectric Case

An employee renovating the electrical system at the San Manual Casino in California fell 24 feet while installing conduit above the ceiling. He suffered several broken ribs and fractures in his spine. After investigating the incident, it was revealed that the employee was not connected to a fall protection device at the time of the fall. Since the incident occurred on tribal land, the case was under federal jurisdiction. While there were serious safety violations at the site, the company developed a detailed Activity Hazard Analysis to provide information on equipment, rescue plans and procedures, training, inspections and specific hazards employees would encounter. The company was cleared from all serious violations since they had clear safety procedures in place. The employee failed to abide by those policies.

However, Bergelectric did face a penalty for the state of their 300 log. While the majority of the company’s documents were perfectly managed and presented, the 300 log was a different story. Under the entry for this particular incident, the company did not include the specific injury suffered, the part of the body affected or the cause of the injury. The entry was vague at best, indicating that there were “multiple injuries” to “multiple body systems”. Other entries in their log also lacked detail regarding where and what caused the injury or illness. The company requested a 25% reduction of the penalty because of its “good faith” efforts. However, on June 7th, 2019 the court affirmed the citation for $1,630 because the log entries were “woefully deficient”.

OSHA Forms Don’t Have to be Tedious

OSHA requires employers to record most work-related injuries and illnesses, along with the extent and severity of each case. When these forms must be filled out manually, and especially when significant periods of time lapse between the original incident and final resolution, it is easy to see how some details can be lost in the process. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Technology can simplify this process. Sospes is one of a number of systems that collect required injury and illness details and creates the Form 301, then summarizes to the Forms 300 and 300A using the information.

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By Leah Carson

July 23, 2019

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