Are you in compliance with the requirements for the Iowa OSHA 300 Form? The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) compiles statistics on safety in the workplace. They compile their statistics based on the OSHA 300 form, which must be posted in work environments beginning on February 1, 2007. The forms must remain posted in a prominent place until April 30, 2007. Employers are required to submit a copy of this form each year to OSHA.
The Iowa OSHA 300 form is a log of workplace related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Included on the log are injuries incurred from a slip, trip, or fall. Nationally, these types of injuries are one of the most common in the workplace, and in 2005, the most recent published figures available, there were 732 fatalities due to a fall at work. In total, there were over 4.2 million workplace accidents in 2005. More than 1.2 million workdays were lost because of those accidents.
Employers are required to post a log of injuries sustained in the previous calendar year. Logs must be posted in common areas where employees can access the information – typically a lunchroom, near the water cooler, in a room where employees take breaks, or where employees punch time cards. Posting this information not only alerts employees of injuries their co-workers have sustained, but it brings an awareness of potential hazards the employee may encounter. Because accidents are responsible for more than 1 million lost workdays a year, raising awareness is important in reducing the number of workplace injuries.
OSHA collects data related to injuries sustained on the job from companies nationwide and publishes statistics on the safety of the work environment. The federal OSHA is responsible for ensuring the safety of employees in the majority of states. However, 22 states are regulated by their own state OSHA. States that have elected to form their own state regulating branch have just as strict (and sometimes more strict) regulations than those regulated by the federal OSHA.
The state of Iowa is no different from other states when it comes to posting of the labor laws – basically, employers are required to post Iowa posters in all workplaces. These posters must be visibly posted in an area where all employees have access to them. Work rooms, break rooms, mail rooms or any other place where employees tend to gather before, during or after work are all appropriate choices.
The Iowa posters are primarily meant to inform employees about their rights in the workplace as they outline the labor laws that apply to Iowa. These posters are beneficial for employees because many employees don’t have access to this information anywhere else. Plus, the posters also tell employees what course of action they need to take if they think their rights have been violated. However, Iowa posters have another use as well. Employers can use the posters to help them know what their responsibilities are in terms of upholding the labor laws applying to them. They can double check exactly what they need to do to comply with certain laws such as the equal pay laws and the family and medical leave laws.
Information for both state and federal laws needs to be posted. State law information that needs to be available should cover minimum wage, OSHA, discrimination, unemployment insurance and workers’ insurance. Federal laws that need to be covered are USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law, Federal Minimum Wage, Employee Polygraph Protection Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and OSHA-Job Safety & Health Protection.
Another thing that Iowa employers need to keep in mind is that labor laws frequently change so it’s important for the Iowa posters to be updated as often as the laws are. Employers are required by law to have the posters posted in the workplace and this law includes keeping them current.