Determining New Cases for OSHA Log

Document created by 1052312 on Sep 30, 2014
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Posted: 09/29/2014

George Ports

By George Ports

Basic criteria for recording injuries and illnesses according to OSHA are:

  • It is work related.
  • It is a new case.
  • It meets one or more of the general recording criteria as set forth by OSHAstandards.

A common question asked is “What makes an injury or illness a new case?”

Employers must consider an illness or injury a new case if the employee has not previously experienced a recorded injury or illness of the same type that affects the same part of the body. Employers must also consider an illness or injury a new case where previous injuries or illnesses have occurred and although the employee has recovered completely, a new event or exposure causes the signs or symptoms of the previous injury or illness to reappear.

If the injury or illness does not meet OSHA’s recordkeeping criteria for a “new case,” any subsequent days away from work should be added to the original illness or injury on the OSHA 300 as long as the days away from work do not exceed 180 days. You are not required by OSHA to keep track of the number of days away from work and/or days of job transfer or restriction in excess of 180 days.

For additional information regarding OSHA recordkeeping requirements, go to

If you have additional OSHA-related questions, please call CAI’s Advice and Resolution team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.