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OSHA 300 log meant to aid identification of workplace hazards

Most employers in New Jersey with 10 or more employees must fill out a 300 log from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when a worker illness or injury occurs. The details required by the 300 log could aid employers in spotting trends that are contributing to incidents that harm workers.

The log gathers information about the types of injuries and illnesses that occur, including the location, time, types of workers involved and whether they involved any equipment or material. The report also notes the amount of time that an injured or sickened worker missed work or had reduced duties. Employers must keep these logs on file for five years.

OSHA considers this information vital for improving workplace safety. Management could gain insights from the injury and illness history and take steps to correct safety problems specific to the workplace. A history of slips and falls could indicate that management needs to examine and update housekeeping procedures. Repeated incidents of back injuries could mean that a workplace needs to invest in lifting equipment or improve employee training. Similarly, a problem with people falling might be corrected with the addition of fall-protection gear and increased training.

When employers do not take action to find and mitigate workplace hazards, OSHA could consider the resulting injuries or illnesses predictable. Regardless of the amount of effort an employer puts into workplace safety, a person hurt or sickened on the job has a right to make file a workers' compensation claim. Since information about benefits might be difficult to obtain, a person could consult with an attorney. Legal representation could empower an injured worker confronted by an uncooperative employer and insurer. A lawyer could help someone obtain an independent medical evaluation and understand the available medical coverage. When necessary, an attorney might choose to file a lawsuit to pursue benefits.

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