- Standard Number:
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.
THE ISSUES RELATED TO OSHA AND WORK AT HOME ARE PRESENTLY UNDER REVIEW. SEE ASSISTANT SECRETARY JEFFRESS' JANUARY 25, 2000 TESTIMONY REGARDING OSHA COVERAGE OF WORKING AT HOME.
June 19, 1995
Mr. Ed K. Morrissey
227 Church Street, 3rd Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510
Dear Mr. Morrissey:
Thank you for your facsimile dated May 23, requesting several interpretations regarding the proper recording of injury and illness cases on the OSHA Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. I will address your questions in the order they were presented.
1) When differentiating between a new cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) and the recurrence or further complication of a previously recorded CTD, the guidance found in Section c(1) on page 15 of the Ergonomics Program Management Guidelines For Meatpacking Plants should be used. For all other injuries and illnesses, the guidance found in Q&A B-12 on page 31 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses must be used for determining a new case. New entries should be recorded when new events or exposures result in the aggravation of previous injuries and illnesses.
2) Injuries and illnesses that result from an event or exposure off the employer's premises are work related if the worker was engaged in work related activities or was present as a condition of his or her employment (page 35, Section 2). These criteria must be applied to scenarios involving employees who work from their homes. If an employee was injured or became ill while performing duties in the interest of the company, the case would be considered work related. If an employee was injured or became ill while performing normal living conditions, (e.g. eating), the case would not be considered work related. When an employee, who works at home, develops carpal tunnel syndrome, it must be determined whether the employee's work duties in any way caused, contributed to, or aggravated his or her condition. If so, it is considered work related.
Regarding your question concerning an employers 5(a)(1) general duty clause responsibilities for employees who work at home, I am enclosing a letter generated by the OSHA Directorate of Compliance programs which addresses the subject. If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please contact Mr. Raymond Donnelly of the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at Area Code (202) 219-6463.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact us at Area Code (202) 219-6463.
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements