In the past, new and used car dealers were among the industries that were generally exempt from maintaining OSHA 300, Injury and Illness Logs and posting OSHA form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. However, effective January 1, 2015, OSHA will require both new and used car dealers to maintain OSHA 300 logs and post OSHA 300A logs. Generally OSHA 300 logs deal with recordable, as opposed to reportable, injuries and illnesses. The types of instances that must be included on the OSHA 300 logs can be found at 29 C.F.R. 1904, et seq.
Employers must record all work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, loss of consciousness or medical treatment beyond first aid, and those resulting in restricted work or transfer to another job. In the event that you are inspected by OSHA, your 300 log is usually the first thing requested by the OSHA investigator. Failure to properly maintain the 300 log can result in monetary fines. More significantly, the failure to properly maintain a 300 log virtually guarantees that the OSHA investigator is going to conduct a very thorough inspection of your records and premises, whichyou want to avoid.
In addition, the type of injuries that must be reported to OSHA, as opposed to those that must merely be recorded on the 300 log, has also changed, requiring dealers to report more incidents to OSHA. The new regulations mandate employers to report to OSHA within 24 hours any workplace illness or injury that results in hospital admittance, amputations, or loss of an eye if they occur within 24 hours of a work-related incident. (Prior regulations only required employers to report non-fatal hospitalizations of three or more employees.) Currently, it appears as if “amputation” is going to include the loss of a mere fingertip. Fatalities must still be reported within 8 hours; however, only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA.
All required injury reports can be made to OSHA by:
- Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
- Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
- Using the online form that should be available in the near future.
If not properly and proactively managed, these new recording and reporting obligations will create significant problems for auto dealers. Now that dealership injuries and illnesses are going to be entered into OSHA’s system in the form of 300 logs and more incidents are going to be reported to OSHA, auto dealers should expect to see an increase in OSHA investigations and citations. It is critical that auto dealers prepare for these changes.