Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Aug 31, 2011

Safety: Even a one-time therapeutic treatment can be a recordable injury


According to an interpretation letter from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the duration of medical treatment received by an employee is irrelevant when determining whether an injury should be recorded on the employers OSHA 300 Log. The letter asked OSHA to weigh in on whether a work-related injury should be recorded when an on-site health care provider recommended that the employee do exercises for only a short period of time. Specifically, the letter questioned whether the exercises should be considered medical treatment beyond first aid under OSHAs recordkeeping regulations.

OSHA responded with a resounding yes. The duration of the exercises recommended is irrelevant; the real question is whether the medical treatment provided or recommended exceeds first aid. Also, under the recordkeeping regulations, physical therapy, therapeutic and chiropractic treatments are all considered medical treatment beyond first aid. The length of time that these treatments are rendered should not be taken into consideration, so even a one-time treatment would meet the recordability standard.

Tips: Failing to accurately keep records about your workplace injuries and illnesses can be costly when a safety inspector discovers the deficiency. Since the question of whether an injury or illness is recordable can often be a difficult one, be sure to consult with your Vigilant safety professional to get it right.

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