The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires covered employers to report workplace injuries and illnesses and to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, is responsible for monitoring compliance with the OSH Act’s reporting and recordkeeping system.

The OSH Act and its regulations (29 CFR 1904 and 1952) include:

  • Reporting requirements for all employers that are covered under the OSH Act; and
  • Specific recordkeeping requirements for certain employers that are covered under the OSH Act.

Under the recordkeeping system, the information recorded by employers must be uniform and accurate to ensure the consistency and validity of statistical data. OSHA uses this data for a number of functions that impact employers. These functions include:

  • Inspection targeting;
  • Measuring performance under the Government Performance and Results Act;
  • Developing health and safety standards;
  • Allocating enforcement and consulting resources;
  • Verifying Voluntary Protection Program eligibility; and
  • Updating “low-hazard” industry exemptions.

The data also aids employers, employees and compliance officers in analyzing the safety and health environment at an employer’s establishment and is the source of information for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual survey.

This guide provides information on recording and reporting workplace illnesses and injuries to OSHA, as well as details OSHA requirements and legal concerns, to assist employers like you with OSHA compliance.

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