Reporting: Separate OSHA logs from Workers Comp
This time of year companies are reviewing and preparing their injuries and incidents reports in order to complete their OSHA logs, which must be posted by February 1. OSHA recording is usually a daunting task for most, especially if you have more than 100 employees, or just a significant number of indemnity claims. Usually, the hardest part of completing OSHA logs is mentally separating the rules of workers compensation with the recordable requirements of OSHA. So to make it easier for you we have noted the most common mistakes below.
- Failing to check behind your TPA (Third-Party Administrator) or Insurance Company – Tons of companies choose to let someone else handle their OSHA logs, as this is much easier than doing it yourself. The problem is not checking their lost-time and modified-duty days. Most workers compensation statutes require a waiting period, usually 7 days, before adjusters start counting days. These days are usually not on the radar for most insurances companies and TPAs. For example, a medical-only claim where the injured worker only missed two days may fall between the cracks on a TPA-completed OSHA log.
- Forgetting to include injuries that were not considered workers compensation or that was denied under workers compensation. – This is a biggie and so easy to do. A lot of people forget that an injury does not have to be an injury compensable under workers compensation statutes to be recordable under the guidelines of OSHA. For example, heart attacks are not always compensable under workers compensation. However, heart attacks may be recorded on the log. You will need to report all heart attacks to OSHA and they will decide whether or not it is recordable.
- Realizing that it must be a new event - Some employees have multiple injuries throughout the course of a year. It is important to ensure that an employee is completely healed from an injury. For example if your employee suffered a knee injury in 2008 and was still seeking medical treatment, another injury, while doing their normal job functions, to that same knee would not be considered a new event.
- Failing to update prior years – OSHA allows you to stop counting loss time and modified duty days at 180, if an injury is recorded in one year and the employee is still losing time. It is critical that you update your OSHA logs for that year. Remember, OSHA logs should be maintained for a period of 5 years.
This time of year can be very stressful, especially with the aggressive image of today’s OSHA. The new focus on reporting injuries and incidents should not be taken lightly. The quickest way to have OSHA show up at your door, aside from having a worker fatality, is to submit inaccurate OSHA logs.