Vigilant Blog

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

May 11, 2010

Watch out for lunchtime injuries with OSHA recordkeeping


When an employee slipped coming out of the restroom during his lunch break, his employer took the position that it didnt need to go on the OSHA 300 log because it occurred outside of normal working hours. But not so, says a recent interpretation letter from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Generally, employers are not required to record injuries sustained while an employee was performing a purely personal task that occurred outside normal working hours.

In the past, lunch time has been considered outside of normal working hours, but OSHAs new interpretation letter takes a different position. According to the federal agency, assigned working hours for recordkeeping purposes means all time throughout the day that falls within the employees normal work schedule (e.g. eight a.m. to five p.m.). Since the lunch break falls within the start and stop time of the employees work schedule, any injuries incurred during that time occurred during the normal working hours, and are therefore recordable.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.