It always is a good sign whenASA members are seeking out the application for the ASA Safety Award.

It tells us members companies had a good year and put safety high on their list of priorities. As many businesses know, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can be a constant reminder of the need to keep our workplace safe. And if a gentle reminder isn’t enough, a fine sure can be!

Under the OSHA recordkeeping regulation (29 CFR 1904), covered employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 log. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.  

Employers with more than 10 employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA forms 300, 300A and 301 that are available at OSHA’s website. Partially exempt industries include establishments of specific low hazards industries: retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate and are listed in Appendix A to Subpart B. Unfortunately plumbing wholesalers and manufacturers are not exempt.

Employers required to keep Form 300, the Injury and Illness log, must post Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, in a workplace every year from February 1 to April 30. Current and former employees, or their representatives, have the right to access their injury and illness records. Employers must give the requester a copy of the relevant record(s) by the end of the next business day.

In the most recent collection of data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2013, among all private industries the average incident rate was 3.3. In the manufacturing sector, the national incident rate was 4.0, yet in categories similar to ASA membership, the numbers were slightly higher. For metal valve manufacturing NAICS (North American Industry Calculation System) Code 33921 the rate was 4.2. For more detailed categories, such as plumbing fixtures, fitting and trim manufacturing (NAICS 332913), the rate was 3.2. For distribution, the wholesale trade rate specifically was 3.1. For hardware and plumbing and heating equipment and supplies wholesalers (NAICS 4237) the rate was 2.6.

To help businesses see how they measure up, the BLS has a new calculator that enables companies to compare against their peers by industry, region and types of business ownership. That calculator can be found at: or by doing a word search for “Incidence Rate Calculator and Comparison Tool, BLS.”

Why is this important? The ASA Safety Award is based on your incident rate. Manufacturers compete against manufacturers and distributors against distributors with three categories based on company size. That means we will give out six awards at Network2015 in Chicago. Your company should be applying, there is no excuse! This is a company-wide award, not location- or site-specific. Take this information to your COO or safety officer and ask them to apply for the ASA Safety Award.

Log on to where you’ll find everything you need to know about the safety award and the OSHA 300 process, as well as archived articles, Toolbox Talks and webinars.

You’ve followed the rules and maintained a safe workplace, now get recognized for it!