How Long Should You Maintain Your OSHA Records?

According to OSHA your organization must save the OSHA 300 Log, and Annual Summary, and the OSHA 301 Incident Report forms for five years following the end of the calendar year that these records cover.

If, during the 5-year retention period, there is a change in the extent or outcome of an injury or illness which affects an entry on a previous year’s log, then the first entry should be lined out and a corrected entry made on that log. Also, new entries should be made for previously unrecorded cases that are discovered or for cases that initially weren’t recorded but were found to be recordable after the end of the year in which the case occurred. The entire entry should be lined out for recorded cases that are later found non-recordable.

Each employer must preserve and maintain accurate medical and exposure records for each employee. The access standard imposes no obligation to create records but does apply to any medical or exposure records created by the employer in compliance with other OSHA rules or at his or her own volition. OSHA does not mandate the form, manner, or process by which an employer preserves a record, except that chest X-ray films must be preserved in their original state.

Exposure records and data analyses based on them are to be kept for 30 years. Medical records are to be kept for at least the duration of employment plus 30 years. Background data for exposure records such as laboratory reports and work sheets need be kept only for 1 year. Records of employees who have worked for less than 1 year need not be retained after employment, but the employer must provide these records to the employee upon termination of employment. First-aid records of one-time treatment need not be retained for any specified period.


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