Occupational Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Questions and Answers
1. An employee on travel picks up his suitcase in the hotel lobby while checking
into a hotel and slips in the lobby and injures his leg. He later receives medical
treatment. Is this case recordable? Or, is the hotel lobby considered part of the
home away from home?
Answer: If the employee has checked into the hotel, motel then
the case in question would not be considered work-related under section 1904.5(b)(6)(i).
New vs Old Injury
2. An employee who has arthritis in his arm injures it while doing a work-related
task. The onsite medical personnel indicates that the work injury has caused his
arthritis to flare-up. The employee is directed to take his medication
that was prescribed by his family physician for arthritis. No new prescription is
written. Is this case recordable? Does it matter if the employees prescription
indicates Take a pill every 12 hours as needed for pain and the employee
had not taken the medication for at least 12 hours prior to the incident?
Answer: The case in question would not be considered work-related because
a preexisting condition had not been significantly aggravated. It does not meet
any of the following under section 1904.5(4).
3. An employee received a medical restriction from typing more than a few minutes
per day opposed to the normal several hours. Lets say the employee can only
type for two minute out of each day. During the other work time the employee is
performing other normal job duties. Would this case be recordable due to the medical
Answer: No, a similar question and answer in section 1904.7(b)(4)(vi) states:
"If the injured or ill worker produces fewer goods or services than he or she
would have produced prior to the injury or illness but otherwise performs all of
the routine functions of his or her work, is the case considered a restricted work
case? No, the case is considered restricted work only if the worker does not perform
all of the routine job functions of his or her job or does not work the full shift
that he or she would otherwise have worked." The case in question would not
4. A physician removes trash from an employee's eye using a first aid method. However,
as a preventative measure he prescribes a prescription eye drop to help
prevent infection. Is this case recordable?
Answer: The case in question would be recordable, because there is an injury
to the eye (trash) and a prescription drug was administered.
5. The on-site fire department is made up of full time fire fighters and volunteers
who normally work in various departments on site. Each volunteer fire fighter is
called to work in this capacity as needed, which could be during the workday or
after hours. Volunteers do not receive pay for fire department activities that they
participate in after work. They are paid their normal pay for fire department activities
during work hours. The fire department often is asked to assist in off-site fire
emergencies for the local town. An employee who normally works as a carpenter is
injured while performing activities with the fire department at an offsite emergency.
Is the injury recordable? Does it matter if at the time of the injury, the employee
had been working all day for the fire department and his normal work day would have
ended several hours prior to the injury?
Answer: The case in question would not be considered work-related. What the
employer needs to evaluate is: are the employees engaged in work-related activities
or was present as a condition of their employment in order to determine work-relatedness..
6. Then company provides a bus service to the work site from various pick-up
points in the city. Only site employees are allowed to ride the bus. Employees are
not required to ride the bus, however, the service is provided as an incentive.
An employee is injured on the bus; this was not a vehicle accident. The injury requires
medical treatment. Is the injury recordable?
Answer: No, the case in question would not be considered work-related because
the event happened during the commute. Now if the driver of the bus was injured,
this situation could be work-related.
7. An employee on travel commutes to his temporary work location. However, he must
go back to the hotel later in the day to pick up work materials. During the trip
to pick up work materials, he in injured in an automobile accident. Injury requires
medical treatment. Is the injury recordable?
Answer: The case in question would be considered work-related because it
does not meet one of the exceptions listed in section 1904.5(b)(6). The injured
worker was not commuting between the temporary residence and the job location, nor
was the worker taking a side trip for personal reasons.
8. An employee clocks out for the days and goes to an onsite fitness center to exercise.
Exercise is not required by employer. Facilities provided for employees to use after
hours and during breaks, not open to public. While leaving the fitness center, the
employee trips and falls in the grass before he gets to his car. Injury to the ankle
requires medical treatment. Is this case recordable? Would it matter if the employee
went back to his office after exercising?
Answer: The case in question would be considered work-related. This situation
does not meet any of the exceptions under section 1904.5(b)(2). Punching a clock
does not determine the outcome of work-relatedness. The injury and illness occurred
at the work environment. (The injury did not occur during their fitness time).
9. An employee has a hand injury at the end of his shift on Friday. Although witnessed
by other employees the injured employee did not report the incident to the supervisor
or receive onsite medical attention. He is not scheduled to work Saturday or Sunday.
The hand continues to bother employee. He goes to offsite medical on Saturday and
is given prescription medicine and placed on restriction from using left hand for
4 days. Both hands are needed for routine work. Returns to work on Monday, goes
through site medical for clearance to return to work. The site medical takes the
employee off the medication and indicates that the restriction was not needed for
the type of work the employee routinely performs. Should this case be recorded?
Answer: The case in question would be recorded based on the prescription
medicine. Where you received recommendations from two or more physicians about a
work restriction, you may make a decision as to which recommendation is the most
authoritative and record the case based upon that recommendation. The most authoritative
principle does not apply to Medical treatment. It only applies to restricted work
(contemporaneous recommendations) and/or determining a new case.
10. An employee has a work related first aid injury, laceration to hand. As a result
of the laceration, the employee is restricted from entering controlled areas on
the site due to the potential for exposing the open wound to harmful substances.
The employee is a plumber and is capable of performing all of his job duties. However,
because of the laceration the employee is not allowed to enter the controlled area
where he normally works one or more times a week. Is this case recordable due to
the work restriction?
Answer: Yes, the case in question would be recorded. In the preamble on page
5981 in the bottom middle column it says: If an employee has a work-related injury
or illness, and that employee's work is restricted by the employer to prevent exacerbation
of, or to allow recuperation from that injury or illness, the case is recordable
as a restricted work case because the restriction was necessitated by the work-related
injury or illness. In some cases, there may be more than one reason for imposing
or recommending a work restriction to prevent an injury or illness from becoming
worse or to prevent entry into a contaminated area.
Question: Please comment on the recordability of the following cases:
When the employee arrived at work, she got out of her car and put her purse down
on the ground to free up her hands to get her lunch out of the back seat of the
car. As she closed and locked the car door, she tripped over her purse, fell backward
and broke her arm. This incident occurred in a parking lot on the employer's premises,
before the employee-started work. It resulted in medical treatment, days away and
restrictions. The restrictions, "no use of right arm," were issued when
the employee returned to work. The employee is right-hand dominant and had a concurrent,
non-industrial restriction "limited use of left arm." Because both arms
were essentially restricted, the employee could not perform all job tasks. The employer
could not have controlled the circumstances that caused the injury. Does this case
fall under the exception in 1904.5(b)(2)(v)?
Case #11------No, the exception would not apply to the above scenario. Under
Part 1904 "parking lots" are considered part of the employer's establishment.
In addition, punching a clock does not determine when an employee is covered If
the employee had been engaged in a personal task and the injury had occurred when
the employee was off duty, the exception cited would apply. However, employer control
or lack of control of the circumstances is not used to determine if a case is recordable.
Finally, the exception 1904.5(b)(2)(vii) would not apply as well. For the case in
question, the employer would record the case appropriately on the OSHA 300 log.
An employee arrived at work, got out of her car, and slammed her fingers in the
car door; the employee had not yet started work. The injury resulted in medical
treatment. The employer could not have controlled the circumstances that caused
the injury. Does this case fall under the exception in 1904.5(b)(2)(v)?
Case #12----No, the exception would not apply. Under Part 1904 "parking
lots" are considered part of the employer's establishment. In addition, punching
a clock does not determine when an employee is covered. If the employee had been
engaged in a personal task and the injury had occurred when the employee was off
duty, the exception cited would apply. However, employer control or lack of control
of the circumstances is not used to determine if a case is recordable. Finally,
the exception stated in 1904.5(b)(2)(vii) would not apply. The case in question,
the employer would record the case appropriately on the OSHA 300 log.
An employee trips and falls on an uneven surface in the parking lot as she is walking
from her car into the building in which she works. The injury results in a broken
arm, which required surgery, days away from work, and work restrictions. At the
time of the injury, the employee had not started work. Is this case recordable?
Yes, this case would be considered work-related. None of the exceptions under 1904.5(b)(2)
would apply. Parking lots are considered part of the employer's establishment. Punching
a clock does not determine when an employee is covered. Therefore, the employer
would record the case appropriately on the OSHA 300 Log.
An employee is eating lunch in the cafeteria when the chair on which he is sitting
collapses; there was no horseplay or other suspect activity involved. The employee
suffers a back injury, which results in medical treatment and restrictions that
impact his ability to do all his job tasks as a laborer. The argument is being made
that this injury is not work related because the employee was engaged in personal
tasks (eating food for personal consumption) at the time of the injury. Is this
Yes. The employee is in the work environment. The event that occurred, the chair
collapsing causes the employee to injure their back. The injury is not the result
of an employee eating or drinking, etc under 1904.5(b)(2)(iv). The geographic presumption
applies and the case is work-related.
Employee went to pick up pizza from delivery driver. Employee was returning with
pizzas to deliver them to meeting. Walking on the sidewalk, the employee turned
to go toward the west entry door. As the employee turned, her left ankle twisted
or gave way. She fell and landed on her knee, this resulted in a left ankle sprain
and left knee contusion. Employee was off work for three days. Would this case be
considered work related?
This would be considered work-related. The event that occurred was walking, causing
an injury that resulted in an ankle sprain and left knee contusion. Therefore, the
employer would record the case on the OSHA 300 log if it meets one or more of the
general recording criteria under 1904.7..
The employee was descending steps on the north side of the building at approximately
06:10 a.m.. Employee states she was "carrying a document and empty coffee cup
in each hand" [hand rail not used]. Employee states "walking down stairs
and twisted ankle on last step." The employee was taken to medical and was
diagnosed with a sprained left ankle. The employee was provided prescription for
pain. A medical restriction, no prolonged walking/running, and weight bearing as
tolerated, was issued. The employee returned to work with crutches. Would this case
be considered work-related?
This would be considered work-related. The event that occurred was walking, causing
an injury that resulted in a sprained ankle. Therefore, the employer would record
the case on the OSHA 300 log if it meets one or more of the general recording criteria
In both Case #15 and #16 - the question employers must answer is whether
the precipitating event or exposure occurred in the work environment. If an event,
such as a fall, an awkward motion or lift, an assault, or an instance of horseplay,
occurs at work, the geographic presumption applies and the case is work-related
unless it otherwise falls within an exception under 1904.5(b)(2). Thus, if an employee
trips while walking across a level factory floor, the resulting injury is considered
work-related under the geographic presumption because the precipitating event --
the tripping accident -- occurred in the workplace. The case is work-related even
if the employer cannot determine why the employee tripped, or whether any particular
workplace hazard caused the accident to occur.
Case # 17
Would a chipped tooth be considered a fractured or chipped bone?
Yes, if an employee has a tooth chipped, during a work-related activity, it meets
the recording criteria under 1904.7(b)(7). (a fractured or chipped bone)