OSHA Updates (Part 1) – OSHA 300 Logs: Not Enough to Expand Inspection

In a recent Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, the Court found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) 300 recordable injury and illness log does not, by itself, establish the existence of an OSHA violation in a workplace.

In USA v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., OSHA demanded to expand the scope of an injury-based inspection to a wall-to-wall inspection based on information uncovered in the employer’s 300 logs. OSHA contended that the information in the 300 logs created reasonable suspicion of hazardous conditions in the workplace. The Eleventh Circuit upheld the lower court’s quashing of the OSHA inspection warrant, ruling that the 300 log data does not, by itself, prove that OSHA violations existed. The Court distinguished between hazards and OSHA violations, stating that a violation must be shown to demonstrate reasonable suspicion in a warrant application. The decision can be found here.

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