Cal/OSHA reminds employers to post injury/illness summaries

Longer posting period this year

Employers with 11 or more employees in the previous year -- except those in certain low-hazard establishments in the retail, services, finance and real estate sectors -- are required to maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses and post the summary of their records for calendar year 2002.

Starting in 2002, the recordkeeping regulation and required forms were changed to the new Form 300 for logging of recordable cases, Form 301 for collection of details, and Form 300A for the annual summary.

Comprehensive information on the requirements effective in 2002, including the list of exempted establishments, can be found at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/recordkeeping/index.html.

Establishments exempted from ongoing recordkeeping may still be selected by the U.S. Department of Laborís Bureau of Labor Statistics to participate in an annual statistical survey requiring recording of workplace injuries and illnesses.

The Form 300A for 2002 is required to be posted in the workplace starting Feb. 1, 2003. In prior years, the summary only had to be posted for the month of February. Now, the summary form (300A) must be posted for the entire three months of February, March and April.

The Form 300A must be displayed in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Companies with no injuries and illnesses in 2002 should post the Form 300A with zeros on the total line.

Also, the annual summary must be mailed or provided to any employees who normally do not report at least weekly to a location where the annual summary for their workplace is posted.

The annual summary includes information on the types of injuries and illnesses that occurred in the previous calendar year and their extent and outcome. The summary alerts employees of possible hazards in their workplace. Employment information regarding annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year is also required to assist in calculating injury and illness incidence rates.

In addition to recording injuries and illnesses meeting criteria detailed in the recordkeeping regulation, employers are required to report immediately by telephone to the nearest Cal/OSHA district office any serious injury or illness or death of an employee occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment.

Immediately means as soon as practically possible but not longer than eight hours after the employer knows or with diligent inquiry would have known of the death or serious injury or illness. If the employer can demonstrate that exigent circumstances exist, the time frame for the report may be made no longer than 24 hours after the incident. Serious injury or illness is defined in section 330(h), Title 8, California Administrative Code.