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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

May 9, 1995

Wesley P. Blair
Safety & Training Supervisor
100 Mococo Road
Martinez, California 94553

Dear Mr. Blair:

Thank you for your letter dated April 7, requesting an interpretation regarding the proper recording of injuries occurring to employees participating in voluntary plant emergency response team training.

Injuries and illnesses that result from an event or exposure off the employer's premises are work related if the worker was (1) engaged in work related activities or was (2) present as a condition of his or her employment (page 35, Section 2 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses). These criteria must be applied to the scenario outlined in your letter.

The voluntary nature of the employee's participation must be carefully defined when evaluating the second criteria above. If the team would be assembled by assignment when no (or not enough) employees volunteered, the participation must be considered a condition of employment and not voluntary in nature for all employees on the team. If this condition exists, injuries occurring to employees at off-site fire training schools must be considered work related.

On the other hand, an employee's participation in a local volunteer fire company during pay/duty status would not be considered a condition of employment and any subsequent injuries would not be recordable.

The direct supervision criteria for determining employer/employee relationship only applies when the worker is providing services to a "using firm" (page 24, Q&A A-2 Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses). This does not apply to the situation described in your letter. The fire training school is providing a service to Rhone-Poulenc employees. In a related topic, Q&A A-10 on page 20 of the Guidelines explains the recording criteria for cases involving employees traveling between multiple establishments of the same firm.

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


Bob Whitmore
Chiefv Division of Recordkeeping Requirements