Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. 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

August 18, 1993

Mr. Stephen G. Kastensmidt
OSHA Recordkeeping Group
Brown & Root, Inc.
Post Office Box Three
Houston, Texas 77001-0003

Dear Mr. Kastensmidt:

Thank you for your letter dated August 2, asking for an interpretation regarding the work relationship of an injury occurring on the company premises. The general rule is that all injuries and illnesses that occur to employees on the employer's premises are presumed to be work related. This presumption is rebuttable if the worker is on the employer's premises as a member of the general public or if the employee's symptoms are the result of a non-work related event or exposure off premises and merely surface on the employer's premises (see Q&A C-8, on page 34 of the Guidelines). Thus if an employee is injured in a fist fight on company premises, that injury is considered to be work related for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes. If the injury involves days away from work, as per your example, the case is recordable. Fist fights are analogous to situations involving horseplay for recordkeeping purposes (see Q&A C-7 on page 34 of the Guidelines).

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 219-6463.


Stephen A. Newell Director
Office of Statistics