How to Keep OSHA Compliance Records

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all private companies keep records that show compliance with all safety and health standards. By carefully maintaining an OSHA file in a place accessible to any OSHA inspector, you should be able to avoid the heavy fines that may accompany non-compliance.

Keep a file of all employee accidents and illnesses to be in compliance of OSHA standards. You may be exempt from this condition if you have had less than 10 employees over the last 12 months, or if the level of risk is unusually low in your business. Low-risk businesses may include real estate offices, some retail outlets, insurance offices or other small businesses.

Maintain records of all employee hospitalizations over the last 30 years that are related to work-related illnesses or injuries. This should include all medical records for the employees as well. In addition, records of any work-related deaths must be kept in the OSHA file for the same duration.

File all copies of monthly safety meetings, with the date and signatures of all employees in attendance, in your records. Monthly safety meetings should explicitly cover subjects included in the OSHA handbook. Any OSHA tests or quizzes administered to employees should be placed in each employee's individual file.

Save all documentation of OSHA inspections to keep in your file as well. This may include records of any fines or violations, as well as complaints that may have been filed on the behalf of employees.

Ensure that all OSHA compliance records are kept in a location that is easily acceptable to any OSHA inspector. This will generally be in the same location where employees are working. Avoid keeping OSHA compliance records at a separate administrative office, or at headquarters, unless you make copies.

Log onto the website for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to download all forms necessary for record-keeping compliance (see Resources below). You can also order required posters, brochures and safety materials from this website, including the OSHA handbook.


  • A copy of the OSHA poster, which explains compliance with all safety and health standards, must be displayed in an area accessible to all employees, such as a break room or cafeteria.