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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

January 6, 1994

Mr. Cois M. Brown
Area Director
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Suite C-205
2002 Richard Jones Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37215

Dear Mr. Brown:

Thank you for your letter dated December 17, 1993, requesting an interpretation for the proper recording of restricted work activity on the OSHA 200 Log. The concept of restricted work is based on three criteria as follows:

1. The employee was assigned to another job on a temporary basis, or

2. the employee worked at a permanent job less than full time, or

3. the employee worked at his or her permanently assigned job but could not perform all the duties normally connected with it.

Historically, the phrase, "employee's normal job duties" has been interpreted to include any tasks that the employee performs or may be expected to perform throughout the calendar year.

As set out in Martin Marietta's December 8 letter, I would think that their interpretation of "job" in terms of the entire MSSO-1 classification, coupled with the sole criteria of a return to "gainful work", would virtually eliminate the recording of restricted work activity for any employee so classified. The carpenter who suffers two broken legs and becomes the company receptionist for a period of time comes to mind. At the same time, their asserted OSHA interpretation of considering the employee's ability to return to the job tasks performed at the time of the injury as being the sole criteria for determining restricted work activity has never been the rule. Such an interpretation has been discussed as a possible future proposal and was included in the 1990 Keystone Report recommendations to be considered for developing proposed changes to the injury and illness recordkeeping system. Thus, both interpretations presented by Martin Marietta are inaccurate, and you are correct in stating that any and all expected job duties should be considered when evaluating restricted work activity. If the occupational classification MSSO-1 accurately reflects the expected job duties of the injured employee, or if Martin Marietta represents that to be the case, then the written classification can be used to determine whether or not the injury involved restricted work activity.

As you know, a proposal for revising the entire OSHA recordkeeping system is currently being developed. The revision will propose multiple changes to the recordkeeping system including the concept of restricted work activity. We expect the proposal to be published sometime during the summer of this year for public comment.

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


Bob Whitmore
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements