Employment Law Blog

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Jun 23, 2015

OSHA interpretation letters clarify recording and reporting rules

Safety and Health 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a number of interpretation letters clarifying the updated recordkeeping and reporting rules that went into effect on January 1, 2015.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a number of interpretation letters clarifying the updated recordkeeping and reporting rules that went into effect on January 1, 2015. The letters provide the following guidance:

  • An injury sustained in an accident that occurs while an employee is commuting between home and work in a company vehicle is not work-related and therefore not a recordable injury.
  • However, an injury sustained in an accident that occurs while an employee is traveling in the interest of the employer even if the travel is on a non-workday and even when the travel includes a minor detour to purchase items such as gas and food does not meet the “personal side trip” exception and is work-related and recordable on the OSHA 300 Log.
  • A loss of sight that does not involve the actual loss of the eye is not a reportable event, but it would be reportable if it involved in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours of the incident. (You must contact OSHA to report all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours. You must report fatalities within 8 hours.)
  • A loss of a tooth or teeth is not considered an “amputation” and doesn’t need to be reported to OSHA.
  • A work-related illness or injury that results in restricted work or transfer to another job is recordable on the OSHA 300 Log even if the restrictions are due to a company policy and not a physician’s restriction or limitation. For example, an employee with an open wound who is prohibited by the company from working in a certain area until that work-related wound has scabbed over would have a recordable injury due to the restricted work.

The new recordkeeping and reporting requirements are much more extensive than the old rules. For information on your duty to promptly notify OSHA of work-related fatalities and serious injuries, see our Legal Guide, “Catastrophe/Fatality Notification Procedure”, and visit OSHA’s web page on the updates to the recordkeeping rule. If you’re uncertain whether to record an injury or illness on your OSHA 300 Log, review the forms and instructions or contact your Vigilant safety professional for assistance.

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