Annual OSHA Update: Changes to Electronic Reporting and More

Cal/OSHA announced on February 6 that an advisory committee will convene on May 9 to evaluate electronic submission rules in response to what it sees as a "substantial diminish[ment]" of the federal OSHA rule. The committee hopes to determine how to best "protect the goals" originally sought by the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.

In this year's Cal/OSHA update, our Construction Practice provides information to help you stay on top of the latest electronic filing requirements on tracking workplace injuries and illnesses. We also highlight federal OSHA's most frequently cited standards following an incident inspection, provide the latest definition of "first aid," and give you some key safety and training resources.

Changes to Electronic Filing Requirements

Recent federal OSHA actions around tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses have prompted Cal/OSHA to schedule an evaluation of how it should implement these changes to federal rules. Here’s a brief background: In previous years, federal OSHA required establishments to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. At that time, California followed federal guidance to align its record-keeping requirements with the federal OSHA program. However, on January 25, 2019, federal OSHA rescinded the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301, although submitting 300A is still required. Cal/OSHA has now announced that an advisory committee will convene on May 9th to evaluate electronic submission rules in response to what it sees as a "substantial diminish[ment]" of the federal OSHA rule. The committee hopes to determine how to best "protect the goals" originally sought by the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule.

Whether Cal/OSHA intends to restore the full effect of the original rule is unknown, but the current obligations are clear. March 2, 2019 is the deadline to electronically submit 300A data for the 2018 calendar year, and Form 300A data is to be submitted every March 2nd thereafter. Employers in California that have establishments meeting one of the requirements below are required to electronically submit Form 300A data annually for those establishments:

  • All establishments with 250 or more employees, unless specifically exempted by section 14300.2 of title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.
  • Establishments with 20 to 249 employees in the specific industries listed in Appendix H of Cal/OSHA's emergency regulations.

We will track the outcome of the Cal/OSHA committee meeting and provide a summary of any recommendations. For additional information here is the Cal/OSHA web page for electronic filing:

Annual Requirements for the Posting of Your Work-Related Injuries 2019 Log

As a reminder, the OSHA Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses for the calendar year 2019 posting period is February 1st through April 30th.

Some of the key items related to these requirements are highlighted below:

  • The required posting period is due April 30th.
  • A company executive must certify the accuracy of the data reported on the log.

To assist you in this process, we suggest the following:

  • Thoroughly review your log, as well as the instructions on the back of the log, to ensure that it is complete and accurate. Also review your:
  • Workers' compensation claim files
  • First aid case log (be sure to add recordable incidents to the OSHA 300 and 300A)
  • Any other incident records that your firm may keep
  • Make sure the top of the summary is completed and the bottom is signed and dated by an executive, certifying the accuracy of the information it contains.
  • Copy the log and post it in a conspicuous place. OSHA recommends that the log be posted on the bulletin board at each office and at each work site in a location where employees normally gather. Even if your firm had no recordable cases, you must still post a log.
  • Review the classification of the cases on your log carefully. Be sure that only cases that fit OSHA's definition of recordability appear on the log. Accurate classification also establishes your firm's incidence rates which can be of use in your pre-qualification process. Not all cases involving trips to a doctor are recordable. Refer to OSHA's definition of "first aid" which we've provided in this newsletter. If you have logged a case that you have now determined is not recordable, simply draw a line through the entry, and initial and date it beside the line. Do not whiteout or blackout incorrect entries.
  • For cases involving lost time and restricted work activity, determine an accurate count of lost days and restricted activity. This information may be obtained from the treating doctor's status/treatment report or from your workers' compensation claims administrator. OSHA requires that if an injury results in both days away from work and days of restricted work activity, the employer is to enter the total of the days for each. The lost-time maximum per case to be indicated on the log is the total of either, or the combination of both, when the maximum reaches 180 days.
  • If the status of a case has changed, including its severity, from the time you originally entered it on the log, you must also change the log entry. Be sure to include the date of change and your initials.
  • You must retain the original log with your safety records for a minimum of five years.

If you need any assistance in complying with these record-keeping requirements, please contact your Woodruff Sawyer representative.


You may obtain information on the State Bills, and OSHA regulations and forms from:

Federal OSHA's Top 10 Standards for 2018 Fiscal Year (Oct. 1, 2017–Sept. 30, 2018)

Here are OSHA's most frequently cited standards following an incident inspection. For the first time in a few years there are two fall protection standards in the Top 10:

  1. Fall Protection: Construction
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout: Control of hazardous energy
  6. Ladders
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Fall Protection: Training Requirements
  9. Machinery and Machine Guarding
  10. Eye and Face Protection

Safety and Training Resources

Did you know that Woodruff Sawyer offers an exclusive Safety Toolbox, an online safety resource, to our clients? In addition, exclusively for Woodruff Sawyer clients we provide access to "Succeed," our Risk Management Center platform which includes safety management resources, training, and tracking aides. For more information on Succeed, contact your Woodruff Sawyer Account Executive.

Our value-added safety services contain valuable resource material for management, field supervisors, and field staff. From tailgate meeting sheets in both English and Spanish, to model safety programs, resources, and links to other resources. Chances are that you'll find information that will help you with your company's safety efforts.

What is "First Aid?"

For the purposes of Article 2, OSHA defines "first aid" as the following:

  • Using a non-prescription medication at non-prescription strength (for medications available in both prescription and non-prescription form, a recommendation by a physician or other licensed health care professional to use a non-prescription medication at prescription strength is considered medical treatment for record-keeping purposes)
  • Administering tetanus immunizations (other immunizations, such as Hepatitis B vaccine or rabies vaccine, are considered medical treatment);
  • Cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin
  • Using wound coverings such as bandages, Band-Aids™, gauze pads, etc., or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips™ (other wound-closing devices such as sutures, staples, etc. are considered medical treatment)
  • Using hot or cold therapy
  • Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes)
  • Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim (e.g., splints, slings, neck collars, backboards, etc.)
  • Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister
  • Using eye patches
  • Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab
  • Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means
  • Using finger guards
  • Using massages (physical therapy or chiropractic treatment are considered medical treatment for record keeping purposes)
  • Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress

Contact Us

For further information on any of the topics addressed in this newsletter, please contact Woodruff Sawyer's Construction & Real Estate Practice at 415.391.2141

The information provided in this newsletter should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult an attorney concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.



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