The New Form 300

Covered industries can't overlook the new hearing loss column on their OSHA injury and illness log.

THE Occupational Safety & Health Administration published its revised Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, Form 300, in October 2003. The most important change on the form and its companion summary, Form 300A, is the addition of a fourth specific illness column for hearing loss cases. The revision takes effect in January 2004.

As a result, the section on Form 300 for categorizing each recordable case this year has six columns: Injury, Skin disorder, Respiratory condition, Poisoning, Hearing loss, and All other illnesses.

The change will be felt almost immediately by safety and health directors in covered industries, although the extent of reportable hearing loss at any given company that provides employee audiograms will be apparent only when it posts its 300A summary from Feb. 1, 2004, through April 30, 2004. Because recordkeeping forms are not routinely submitted to OSHA, the national scope of workplace hearing loss may not be known even then--but for the first time, an industry-by-industry scorecard will be possible.

OSHA's Web site (www.osha.gov) offered lots of help for employers implementing the January 2004 recordkeeping changes. Pages posted in October explained how to complete the log and summary, how to calculate injury and illness rates, how to count days away from work and days of restricted activity, and what kinds of treatment are strictly first aid and thus not recordable (e.g., using wound coverings or butterfly bandages, non-prescription medications, simple eye irrigation, removing splinters).

A list (by SIC code) of industries "partially exempt" from the recordkeeping rules is also on OSHA's site at www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/ppt1/RK1exempttable.html. They range from car dealers to various kinds of retail stores, meat and fish markets, funeral parlors, retail bakeries, gas stations, motorcycle dealers, drugstores, museums, real estate offices, barbershops, and several others.

These businesses are not required to keep OSHA injury and illness records unless they are asked in writing to do so by OSHA, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or by a state agency operating under the authority of OSHA or BLS.

This article originally appeared in the January 2004 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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