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.
March 2, 1995
Patrick J. Beecher, MD
Associate Medical Director Occupational Health and Safety
Ford Motor Company
Post Office Box 1899
Dearborn, Michigan 48121-1899
Dear Dr. Beecher:
Thank you for your letter dated February 22, requesting our review of your proposed protocol for counting days away from work and days of restricted work activity. I agree with your assessment that the method of counting days as outlined in your letter (i.e. counting calendar days rather than workdays) will more accurately reflect the severity of workplace injuries and illnesses and meets the intent of the OSHA recordkeeping requirements. I also feel it is an important opportunity to gather empirical data for determining the costs and benefits of applying such a system. This will greatly help us in determining the best method for recording days away from work and days of restricted work activity in our upcoming revision of the injury and illness recordkeeping system.
Therefore, it is determined you will be in compliance with our current injury and illness recordkeeping requirements when applying the method of counting lost workdays as outlined in your letter. Please realize this procedure is acceptable under the current recordkeeping requirements and will need to be reevaluated once 29 CFR Part 1904 is revised.
I also concur with your presumption that a medical restriction would affect an employee's ability to perform his or her normal job duties. Classifying such injuries and illnesses as cases involving restricted work activity is in compliance with the recordkeeping requirements.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please call us at Area Code (202) 219-6463.
Chief Division of Recordkeeping Requirements