The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for administering the record keeping system established by the Act. The OSH Act and record keeping regulations in 29 CFR 1904 and 1952 provide specific recording and reporting requirements which comprise the framework for the nationwide occupational safety and health recording system.
Under this system, it is essential that data recorded by employers be uniform and accurate to assure the consistency and validity of the statistical data which is used by OSHA for many purposes, including inspection targeting, performance measurement under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), standards development, resource allocation, Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) eligibility, and "low-hazard" industry exemptions. The data also aid employers, employees and compliance officers in analyzing the safety and health environment at the employer's establishment and is the source of information for the OSHA Data Initiative (ODI) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Annual Survey.