OSHA’s Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report

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In an earlier post, we explained how you can determine if an injury or illness is “work-related” and “recordable.”

In this post, we’ll explain one of the first steps to take if you do have a work-related, recordable injury or illness at the workplace: complete OSHA’s Form 301, Injury and Illness Report.

If you want to get the full picture, download our FREE GUIDE TO OSHA REPORTING & RECORDKEEPING.

When Should You Complete OSHA Form 301?

You must complete the Injury and Illness Incident Report within seven calendar days after you receive information that a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred at your work place.

Remember, our earlier blog post will help you determine if an injury or illness is work-related and recordable. You’ll also want to decide if this is a new case or a recurring case. Read 1904.6, Determination of New Cases, for more information on this.

Don’t forget that in addition to these requirements, OSHA expects employers to very quickly report to OSHA when a work-related fatality or severe injury has occurred. Any fatality must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours, and any in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours. To report these, you can:

Can You Fill Out Other Forms Instead?

In some cases, OSHA will consider forms that you fill out for state workers’ compensation, insurance, or other reports “equivalent” to Form 301. To be considered equivalent, the alternate form must include all of the information that’s included on OSHA’s Form 301.

How Long Must You Keep the Completed Form 301 on Record?

For at least five years following the year in which the incident occurred.

Is The Information on the Form 301 Confidential?

According to a note on the form:

“This form contains information relating to employee health and must be used in a manner that protects the confidentiality of employers to the extent possible while the information is being used for occupational safety and health purposes.”

In addition, OSHA instructions for filling out the form say

“If you have a reasonable basis to believe that information describing the privacy concern case may be personally identifiable even though the employee’s name has been omitted, you may use discretion in describing the injury or illness on both the OSHA 300 and 301 forms. You must enter enough information to identify the cause of the incident and the general severity of the injury or illness, but you do not need to include details of an intimate or private nature.”

(This may make more sense once you’ve read about “privacy cases” when filling out Form 300.)

Where Can You Download Copies of Form 301?

Click here to download Form 301 (along with other injury/illness forms from OSHA and instructions for completing them).

Any Tips That Would Help Fill Out the Form?

Most of the form is pretty self-explanatory. But, it does help to know that when item 10 asks you to fill in the “Case number from the Log,” it is referring to the case number for the injury or illness once it’s recorded in OSHA’s Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

Once you complete Form 301, you will then go ahead and complete Form 300. At that point, you can take the case number from Form 300 and record it in line 10 of Form 301.

See future blog posts for more information about Form 300, the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses; and Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.


Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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