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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 http://www.osha.gov.
September 16, 1994
MEMORANDUM FOR: RAY DONNELLY
Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance
JIMMY ROBERTS Office of Field Operations
FROM: BOB WHITMORE Division of Recordkeeping Requirements
SUBJECT: Recording and Reporting Deaths, Injuries and Illnesses Resulting From Acts of Workplace Violence; and Cases Involving Employees on Travel Status
Recently we have had a number of inquiries concerning the referenced subject. The following material addresses several issues regarding the recordability of deaths, injuries and illnesses under 29 CFR 1904.2, and their reportability under 29 CFR 1904.8:
The first decision that needs to be made regarding the recordability/reportability of any case is whether or not it is work related. As contained in the attached memo of April 26 of this year, the work relatedness of cases resulting from workplace violence is to be determined in the same manner as any other case. Once a case is deemed to be work related it's recordability depends on whether it is an injury that involves loss of consciousness, job transfer, restriction of work or motion, or medical treatment beyond first aid; or is an occupational illness. In addition, all work related fatalities are recordable and reportable; and work related cases involving days away from work and/or days of restricted work activity are recordable.
The first paragraph of the answer to Question C-19 from the Recordkeeping Guidelines (attached) sets out more specific criteria to determine the work relatedness of cases involving employees who are on travel status.
To illustrate this guidance, the following cases are both recordable on the OSHA Log, as well as reportable under the 1904.8 FATCAT requirements:
1) Employee shot and killed at work by fellow employee; 2) Employee in convenience store killed during attempted robbery; 3) Employee returning home from business trip is killed when commercial airliner crashes; and 4) Employee is killed in auto crash while driving to train station on business trip.
If you should have any additional questions please contact the Division of Recordkeeping Requirements on 219-6466. In addition, please insure that this information is transmitted to the field.
April 26, 1994
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
AREA DIRECTORS STATE PLAN DESIGNEES CONSULTATION PROJECT MANAGERS
FROM: STEPHEN A. NEWELL OFFICE OF STATISTICS
THROUGH: JIMMY ROBERTS OFFICE OF FIELD PROGRAMS
ZOLTON BAGDY DIRECTORATE OF FEDERAL-STATE OPERATIONS
SUBJECT: Recording and Reporting Death, Injuries and Illnesses Resulting From Acts of Workplace Violence
Recent discussions concerning the issue of workplace violence have resulted in some questions about the recording and reporting of deaths, injuries and illnesses resulting from violence in the workplace.
Recording of cases on the OSHA 200 Log
Injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of workplace violence may be recordable on the OSHA 200 log. These cases should be evaluated for recordability just like any other case. If an injury/illness is caused by an event on the employers premises, work relationship is presumed. If the injury/illness occurs off the premises, work relationship is established if the worker was engaged in work related activities, or was present as a condition of employment.
All work related deaths and illnesses are recordable. Work related injuries are recordable if they result in medical treatment, loss of consciousness, transfer to another job, or restriction of work or motion (restricted work activity or days away from work).
Reporting of Fatalities and Multiple Hospitalization Incidents
Fatalities or incidents that result in the hospitalization of 3 or more employees are reportable to OSHA under 29 CFR 1904.8, including those resulting from workplace violence. Under existing Agency policy, the Area Director is responsible for deciding whether or not to investigate any workplace fatality/catastrophe.
Q. How are employees in travel status handled differently?
A. Employees who travel on company business shall be considered to be engaged in work-related activities all the time they spend in the interest of the company, including, but not limited to, travel to and from customer contacts, and entertaining or being entertained for the purpose of transacting, discussing, or promoting business, etc. However, an injury/illness would not be recordable if it occurred during normal living activities (eating, sleeping, recreation); or if the employee deviates from a reasonably direct route of travel (side trip for vacation or other personal reasons). He would again be in the course of employment when he returned to the normal route of travel.
When a traveling employee checks into a hotel or motel, he establishes a "home away from home." Thereafter, his activities are evaluated in the same manner as for non-traveling employees. For example, if an employee on travel status is to report each day to a fixed worksite, then injuries sustained when traveling to this worksite would be considered off the job. The rationale is that an employee's normal commute from home to office would not be considered work related. However, there are situations where employees in travel status report to, or rotate among several different worksites after they establish their "home away from home" (such as a salesperson traveling to and from different customer contacts). In these situations, the injuries sustained when traveling to and from the sales locations would be considered job related.
Traveling sales personnel may establish only one base of operations (home or company office). A salesperson with his home as an office is considered at work when he is in that office and when he leaves his premises in the interest of the company.