Proposed WISHA Regulation will Require Electronic OSHA 300 Reporting

Every year it seems that our members receive notice from national associations reminding them of the need to file their OSHA 300 reports electronically.   However, because Washington State has its own safety and health statute, WISHA, and its administrative arm, DOSH, electronic reporting is not required in Washington under current regulations.  That being said, OSHA can ask for certain Washington State employers to file electronically, if OSHA is doing an industry specific study and needs that data.  Otherwise, electronic filing has not been required, in Washington.

All that is about to change.  Recent changes to OSHA regulations will soon require DOSH to begin gathering that data, electronically, for certain employers in defined industries.  DOSH’s proposed rule changes are currently in the public hearing process; however, we assume it is likely those rules will be adopted with few if any amendments, unless there is a firestorm of criticism at the hearings.

The changes being made to WAC 296-27 will now require electronic reporting for many industries, including long term care.

OSHA 300 Reporting Primer

Just as a reminder, WAC 296-27-01101 requires an employer to record each fatality, injury and illness that is:

        Work related:  WAC 296-27-01103

        Is a new case:  WAC 296-27-01105

        Or meets one of the general recording criterial of WAC 296-27-01107 in which any of the following occur:


                Days away from work

                Light duty work

                Medical treatment beyond first aid

                Loss of consciousness

                Significant injury or illness diagnosed by health care provider

        There are other recording requirements for needlesticks and sharps injury cases and other specialty situations per WAC 296-27-01109 to WAC 296-27-01115.  

Examples are: The employer must record all work-related needlestick injuries and cuts from sharps that are contaminated with another persons’ blood.

Although the incident is recorded, the employer may not enter the employee’s name on the log, in order to ensure privacy.

Note that there are other specialty reporting requirements for medical removal incidents, hearing loss, tuberculosis, etc.

WAC 296-27-01119 describes the use of the following forms, OSHA 300, OSHA 300A and OSHA 301.  Please take care not to include the employees’ names on the OSHA 300 log where there are privacy concerns, as defined by the regulation.  Recordable injuries and illnesses must be recorded within seven days of receiving information that the injury or illness has occurred.  These reports should be maintained for five years.

Electronic Filing

None of the information, above, is a change from previous requirements although the proposed regulations do have some minor tweaks to the current regulation language.  What is new is the significant change to WAC 296-27-03103 that will require electronic submission of injury and illness records to OSHA.

The rules provide for three categories of employers.  Category 1 and 2 employers must submit records electronically, annually.  Category 3 employers need only submit OSHA records when requested upon written notification from OSHA.

Category 1 and 2 employers are broken down into those with locations having 250 or more employees or employers listed in Table 4 of Appendix B with 20 to 249 employees.  Each category employer must submit their reports to OSHA electronically.   A site/establishment with fewer than 20 employees need only file electronically if OSHA notifies that they must.

This sounds confusing; however, the category system for electronic reporting is fairly simple to understand, if you are a large organization.  If your facility has 250 or more employees, at any time during the previous year, the new regulations will require electronic reporting of OSHA 300, OSHA 300A and OSHA 301.

If you are an organization with 20 to 249 employees, in an industry listed in the regulation, then you must file electronically, the OSHA Form 300A (only.) 

So how do you know if your organization is listed in the regulation?    WAC 296-27-071 contains Appendix B listing the industries with electronic reporting requirements.  Industry codes 6231 Nursing Care Facilities, 6233, Community care facilities for the elderly and 6239 Other residential care facilities are on that list.  

As you can see, if these regulations are adopted as drafted, your organization will likely have electronic reporting requirements, unless you have fewer than 20 employees.

If you want to view the proposed regulations yourself, for further details, check on line for the January 10, 2019 draft of WAC 296-17 Recordkeeping and Reporting.