The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws


Miscellaneous Employment Laws

Compliance Partners

OSHA Specialist

Related Policy

Safety and Protection of the Environment

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA)

29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.; 29 C.F.R. Part 1903.1 et seq.

OSHA deals with the protection of workers in the workplace. The law requires employers to train employees on hazards in the workplace, to provide information to employees, to report occupational injuries and illnesses to the federal government, and to keep records of same, and to provide controls and protective equipment as well.

Posting Requirement

Employers with 11 or more employees must post, from February 1 to April 30, a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in the prior calendar year. The employer is required to post the annual totals of the information contained on the right-hand portion of OSHA Form 300, "Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses". The form is to be displayed wherever notices to employees are usually posted. Access to the entire OSHA Form 300 for an establishment may be requested by employees, former employees and their designated representatives, and OSHA officials. Companies with no injuries and illnesses in the prior year must post the form with zeros on the total line.

Injury Reporting

All employers covered by OSHA must comply with pertinent safety and health standards and must report verbally within eight hours to the nearest OSHA office for all accidents that result in one or more fatalities or in the hospitalization of three or more employees. See 29 C.F.R. § 1904.8. After hours calls to report accidents can be made toll free by calling 1-800-321-OSHA.

Electronic Submissions:

OSHA Illness and Injury Records: Next Round of Electronic Submissions Due July 1: This National Law Review article summarizes the latest electronic filing requirements for  OSHA 300 Logs, OSHA 301 Incident Reports, and OSHA Form 300As.


Training Requirements

Numerous training requirements apply in the higher education context:

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1200(h) sets forth the Hazard Communication Training requirements for employees working with hazardous chemicals.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1450(f) sets forth the requirements for training for Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories. This separate standard addresses the unique characteristics of the laboratory workplace. OSHA requires a chemical hygiene plan for research labs.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.120 contains the training requirements for Hazardous Substance Spill Training.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1030(g)(2) contains the training requirements for all employees who could be "reasonably anticipated" as the result of performing their job duties to face contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials. This is known as the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.147(c)(7) contains the training requirements for all employees who come into contact with hazardous energy areas. These are known as lockout/tag out procedures.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.146(g) is Confined Space Entry, which contains procedures to protect employees from the hazards of entry into permit-required confined spaces.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.132(f) contains the requirements for training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.134(e)(5)(i) contains the training requirements for employees on Respirator Protection. A final rule was published on January 8, 1998 at 63 Fed. Reg. 1152. Effective April 8, 1998, this standard will change its designation to 29 C.F.R. § 1910.139, and will apply to tuberculosis. The start up date for the new standard is October 5, 1998.

  • Hearing Conservation training requirements are set forth at 29 C.F.R. § 1910.95(k)(1). The employer must provide a training program for employees who are exposed to noise at or above an eight-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, and must ensure employee participation in the program.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1001(j)(7) sets forth the requirements for Asbestos Awareness Training. The employer must institute a training program for all employees who are exposed to airborne concentrations of asbestos at or above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) and/or excursion limit.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.332 sets forth the training requirements for those employees who will face a risk of electrical shock that is not reduced to a safe level.

  • 29 C.F.R. § 1910.254(d) sets forth the Arc Welding and Cutting training requirements.

Recordkeeping: Employee medical records must be kept for 30 years, with the exception of first aid records, insurance claims, and records of employees who worked for less than one year, as long as employees are given their records when they leave. See 29 C.F.R. § 1910.20(d)(1). Logs of occupational illnesses and injuries are to be kept for five years from the end of the year to which they refer. See 29 C.F.R. § 1904.6.

Employee medical records must be made available to both current and former employees, or their representatives as set forth in 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1020(e). Complete records of occupational illnesses and injuries must also be kept by employers, and made available to current or former employees or their representatives. See § 1904.2, 1904.7.


The OSHA Technical Manual guidance for OSHA officers is a good source for establishing accident prevention programs.

Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries*

 OSHA injury tracking portal

updated 7-8-18