Safetip #135: Use Your OSHA 300 Log to Identify Hazards
Use the 300 Log as a Tool for Prevention
Best-in-Class organizations don’t just manage and report incidents, they also actively prevent them by identifying occupational hazards that create risks of injury or illness. Once hazards are identified, leading organizations either remove them, or implement control measures to mitigate the risks that these hazards create.
There are many ways to identify workplace hazards, one of them is to use your OSHA 300 log of work-related injuries and illnesses. OSHA reminds us that the log is not just a way to look at past safety and health records, and it’s not something to maintain just to meet an OSHA requirement. It’s a powerful tool to help identify hazards in the workplace so you can prevent incidents. For example:
- Slip, trip and fall injuries may indicate that there are housekeeping-related hazards to correct or procedures to adjust.
- A fall-related injury may also indicate the need for improvements in fall protection or training.
- A back injury may indicate that there is a need for lifting equipment or better training in safe lifting techniques.
Examine the 300 Log Regularly and Involve Workers
Examine your OSHA 300 log regularly (at least annually) and look for trends. The log should indicate the types of injuries or illnesses that have occurred, their frequency, and the specific processes, activities, tasks, or equipment/material involved. OSHA says that you should review injuries or illnesses among temporary or contractor employees as well. Also, be sure to involve workers in the review of the log as a way to encourage worker engagement and participation in your safety program.
Finally, it’s important to know that examining your 300 log to identify trends and hazards is just one step among many, and not the only one. Your occupational safety and health program must also include periodic hazard assessments, inspections, job safety analyses, observations, and other activities, as part of your efforts to proactively identify hazards and reduce risks of incidents.
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