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What Pet Care Businesses Should Know About OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements

For businesses in the pet care industry, it’s imperative to not only take steps to ensure the health and safety of the animals in their care, but also to create a safe workplace for employees. Promoting workplace safety is an effective way to improve staff morale and reduce workers’ compensation premiums—and for many businesses, it may also be required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Among the most common rules imposed by OSHA are recordkeeping requirements, which mandate that covered employers keep records of certain work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 301, and 300A. Read on to learn more about these requirements and how they may affect your business.

Which Businesses are Subject to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Requirements?

With the exception of certain low-risk industries (which are listed in the Non-Mandatory Appendix A to Subpart B), most employers with more than ten employees are subject to the recordkeeping requirements and therefore, must keep track of serious work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 Logs. These records must be maintained at the worksite for at least five years, and employers must post a summary of the incidents recorded during the previous year each February through April.

Employers that had ten or fewer employees at all times during the prior calendar year are exempt from the recordkeeping requirements. However, all employers—including those that are exempt by industry classification or company size—must report to OSHA any workplace incident that results in an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye, or fatality.

Under a new rule that went into effect on January 1, 2024, employers in high-hazard industries that have 100 or more employees at a given worksite will now be required to electronically submit their injury and illness data via OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). This is an expansion from the previous rules, which only mandated electronic filing for employers with 250 or more employees at a single establishment, or those with 20-249 employees in certain hazardous industries. Fortunately, most businesses in the pet care industry are unlikely to be subject to the new electronic reporting requirement, as they would not be considered high-hazard.

What Do Employers Need to Report in the OSHA 300 Log?

If your business is subject to the recordkeeping requirements, you must maintain an OSHA 300 Log for each worksite or physical location. Specifically, you must complete the following forms:

  • Form 300. Throughout the year, you must use this form to record work-related injuries and illnesses, including details on the severity of each case and how it happened. Recordable events are those that resulted in death, loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work activity, or medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Form 301. This form is used to record individual injuries or illnesses, while Form 300 is a collective report of all incidents that occur during the year.
  • Form 300A. This is a summary form that will contain totals for the year in each incident category. From February 1 through April 30 of the following year, you must post this form in a visible location at your workplace so employees can be aware of work-related incidents.

For more details and guidance on completing these forms, visit https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/OSHA-RK-Forms-Package.pdf.

At IBPSA, we’d like to remind all of our Members of the upcoming February 1 deadline for posting Form 300A. Failing to comply with OSHA requirements may carry fines of several thousand dollars, so now is the time to verify whether your business is subject to the recordkeeping rules and if so, ensure that you are in compliance! For more business guidance and resources, visit https://www.ibpsa.com/business-help/.

(Sources: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping#:~:text=The%20records%20must%20be%20maintained,former%20employees%2C%20or%20their%20representatives.)