I am a certified mediator and I recently mediated a workers’ compensation claim for some local lawyers. The injured worker in the case alleged that she hurt her foot on a piece of equipment at work. Her supervisor claimed that the woman told the supervisor that she had gotten hurt at home. Normally, this type of dispute would be a “swearing match” with both people testifying under oath in court, and the Deputy Commissioner would have to figure out who was telling the truth. Having a document to clarify the facts either way is a big help in this kind of situation.
Well, this injured employee was very alert. Nearly a full year after her injury, her employer posted an OSHA 300 form, which is a log of workplace injuries in the previous year, on the company bulletin board as required by law. She took a look at it and saw that her incident was included on the list of workplace injuries. She had the presence of mind to make a photocopy of the two page document. The second page of it was an OSHA Form 300A, which is a summary of the listed accidents and a certification by a company executive that the report is true!
The case did not settle at mediation, but you can be certain that the OSHA Form 300 workplace injury log, certified as true by a company executive, will be more than adequate to impeach the credibility of the supervisor when he claims that the worker did not get hurt at work. This sharp-eyed and alert employee may have saved her claim by spotting that OSHA Form 300 injury log and getting a copy of the whole document, and giving it to her lawyer.
If you are an injured worker and your employer is claiming you did not get hurt at work, then immediately after January 1 of the next year, start looking for the OSHA injury log, Form 300, on the company bulletin board, and if your situation is listed, get a copy of it for your lawyer. It may save your case as well!
Bob Bollinger, Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law