How to Reduce OSHA Recordables

Meet Your Osha Recordable Goals!

Workplace injuries are unfortunately all too common. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every day about 7,000 workers suffer an injury on the job. These injuries can lead to missed work days, decreased productivity, and costly healthcare bills. In order to keep your employees safe and reduce the number of workplace injuries, it is important to understand what OSHA recordable injuries are and how to prevent them.

What are OSHA recordable injuries?

In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is in charge of creating standards for working conditions and ensuring that businesses are following these standards. As part of their efforts to improve workplace safety, OSHA has created a list of reportable injuries. These injuries can be severe or minor, but any injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid must be recorded on an OSHA Form 300.

Some of the most common types of OSHA recordable injuries include slips and falls, repetitive stress injuries, back injuries, burns, lacerations, fractures, concussions, exposure to toxic substances or chemicals, and more. These injuries can occur in any industry or workplace setting and can be caused by a number of different factors, including poor work practices, defective equipment or machinery, lack of training for workers, and more.

How Can You Reduce OSHA Recordables in the Workplace?

While it is not possible to eliminate all risks at the workplace, there are steps that you can take to reduce the number of OSHA recordable injuries. Some of these steps include the following:

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Don’t Over Treat

First Aid is not recordable. Don’t over-treat when less treatment will provide proper care. There are many options in regard to first aid, and one of those is early intervention for musculoskeletal symptoms. Your first line of defense can and should often be early intervention.

Further examples of first aid could be:

  • Over-the-counter medication instead of prescriptions
  • Butterfly bandage instead of dermal adhesive/suture
  • Support device instead of immobilization or rigid brace

Get a Second Opinion

OSHA Standard 1904.7(b)(3), and the OSHA Recordkeeping Compliance Directive CPL 2-0.131, in Chapter 5, Question 7-10, both state that an authoritative provider can override another opinion regarding lost work days.

A knowledgeable occupational medicine provider can therefore override another opinion regarding lost work days. Lost time = recordable. If an employee is ever taken off work by an ER, urgent care clinic, or personal physician, they should be seen by an occupational medicine provider for a second opinion.

Often, an employee will be able to continue working with a slight modification, such as working at a slower pace, instead of having lost time.

Document the Occupational Medicine Provider’s Recommendations

If a medical provider states that an employee is safe and able to return to work, but the employee CHOOSES to stay home anyway, this is not a recordable. Recordability is based on the medical provider’s advice, not the employee’s actions.

Encourage Reporting

Early reporting of injuries is a great way to prevent recordables. Early intervention and other first aid techniques are much more successful when used early. If employees are incentivized or rewarded for reporting injuries as soon as possible, they will be more likely to do so.

Stay away from incentivizing injury-free days, weeks, etc. This will discourage employees from doing early reporting and result in more significant injuries and more recordables in the long term.

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Use Proper Safety Equipment

Making sure that your employees have access to the proper protective equipment and using this equipment correctly can greatly reduce the risk of workplace injuries. For example, providing gloves, goggles, helmets, harnesses, or other ergonomic aids can protect employees from cuts, burns, concussions, and other common workplace injuries.

Train for Safety Early

Train your employees on safe work practices from the moment they are hired. Training should be an ongoing part of your safety practices. This will help to ensure that your employees are aware of the risks in their workplace and know how to take precautions to prevent injuries.

Regular Safety Inspections

Conduct regular safety inspections of your facilities and equipment. Pay close attention to areas where injuries are most likely to occur, such as on ladders or scaffolding, in stairwells and corridors, at entrances and exits, near heavy machinery, etc. Make repairs or replace damaged equipment right away.

Every business is unique and you should focus on what hazards and injuries are most likely to occur in your industry and worksite.

Up-To-Date Job Demands

The new standard states that an employee is considered restricted duty when they can’t do all the usual duties of their job, this is now classified as any duty performed once a week or more. So, if an employee is restricted from lifting objects overhead, but only does this once a month, it is not considered restricted duty resulting in a recordable.

Make sure your job descriptions list all the routine duties your employees do on a weekly basis. That way, if you need to make decisions quickly about what may be restricted duty and what may not be restricted duty, you will have the most accurate information.

Conclusion on How to Prevent Osha Recordables

Overall, there are many ways that you can reduce OSHA-recordable injuries in your workplace. By focusing on proper work practices, providing adequate protective equipment and training, encouraging early reporting, and working with a qualified occupational medicine provider, you can help to ensure the safety and well-being of your employees. By taking these proactive steps, you can reduce injuries and prevent costly OSHA recordables from occurring in your workplace.

Contact WorkSafe Physical Therapy to find out how we can help your company


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