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Employers required to keep accurate illness and injury logs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration implements and enforces various policies to keep employees healthy at their workplace. Without the cooperation of employers, the regulations cannot benefit North Carolina employees. Whenever a workplace accident occurs, any related illnesses or injuries that occur must be accurately documented and posted in a common space at the place of work. This allows employees to understand what their employers are doing to carry out safety measures and provides the government with accident statistics.

Every year, employers are required to review their OSHA 300 log of all on-the-job injuries in order to ensure accuracy and completeness. Part of this process also includes submitting the proper paperwork to federal OSHA authorities. This information is compiled by the federal government to provide reports on overall workplace safety and how to best allocate their resources to protect workers in the future.

Knowing that these annual reports affect how federal resources are distributed, it is very important that employers keep accurate records of any injuries that occur on the job. By failing to provide accurate injury summaries, employees may be exposed to the risks associated with inadequate federal resources designed to maintain and improve workplace safety. These reports also help employers understand how they can implement measures to improve workplace safety within their own practices.

The important thing to know is that workers' compensation payments are not necessarily dependent on injury records completed by employers. Even if an employer does not document a work-related illness or injury in their OSHA 300 log, employees may still be eligible for benefits to cover expenses and damages related to an accident. Federal workplace safety regulations can be difficult to navigate, so it is important for workers to be made aware of their rights whenever they are hurt while performing the duties of their jobs.

Source: Risk & Insurance, "Injury, illness summaries must be posted as soon as possible," March 19, 2012

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