May 4, 2009
Ms. Michelle Geld
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc.
5330 E. 31st Street
P.O. Box 35985
Tulsa, OK 74153-0985
Dear Ms. Geld:
Thank you for your February 12, 2009 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the Recordkeeping regulation contained in 29 CFR Part 1904 - Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. In an effort to provide you with prompt and accurate responses, we developed, and continue to refine a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). In addition, we maintain a log of Letters of Interpretation (LOI) on the OSHA Recordkeeping website.
You requested specific guidance on recordkeeping requirements relating to the death of an employee.
Scenario: An employee came to the facility on her way out of town (non-work related travel) to turn in her work uniforms and work-related equipment. While walking towards the facility in a marked crosswalk (airport property), she was struck by a sweeper truck (not driven by any of our employees) and was then air-lifted to a medical facility, where she died of her injuries.
We did report the death to OSHA, but after reviewing the case information during completion of our 2008 OSHA logs, wanted further clarification on if this death was considered recordable.
Answer: You must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Furthermore, work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment. OSHA defines the work environment as the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment.
The accident described in your scenario does not meet OSHA's definition of work relatedness and is therefore not recordable. The accident did not occur at your establishment, it occurred on airport property. Furthermore, the employee that was injured was not engaged in a work task, nor was she required to be there as a condition of employment. Instead, she was injured during her commute to your establishment. Commuting to or from work is not considered a work task for recordkeeping purposes.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.
Keith Goddard, Director
Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis