Determining if an incident is work-related?

Do you know what specific data is needed when reporting an incident at work? By OSHA, each employer is required to keep records of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. This means anything from an illness to fatality that is work-related meets one or more of the general recording criteria noted in Section 1904.7. But what are the exceptions? There are instances in which an illness/injury doesn’t have to be recorded as work-related:

  • Employee was present in the workplace as member of the public
  • Employee was engaged in a voluntary fitness program at work
  • The common flu, cold, etc.
  • Mental illness—without the opinion of trained healthcare professional—is not automatically deemed work-related
  • Illnesses resulting from the employee’s food brought in from an outside source
  • Illness or injury resulting from personal tasks completed during working hours
  • Illness or injury resulting from self-grooming, self-medication or self-inflicted injuries (i.e., suicide attempts)

So as a rule of thumb, there must be a causal connection between the employment and the illness or injury before the case is recordable.  It’s also very important to know that if you determine whether an injury/illness is work-related wrong, OSHA has the right to cite you, since they delegate the decision-making process of something to the employer. Also important is that the “work event or exposure need only be one of the discernible causes; it need not be the sole or predominant cause”. Nevertheless, you must consider an injury or illness to meet the general recording criteria if it results in any of the following:

  • Death
  • Days away from work
  • Restricted work or transfer to another job
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Loss of consciousness

To view the original article, go to http://safety.blr.com/workplace-safety-news/safety-administration/safety-recordkeeping/zn-Safety-Records-When-Is-An-Incident-Considered-W/

To learn more about OSHA Recordkeeping training, visit http://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-management-courses/osha-record-keeping

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