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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

February 12, 1996

Randall J. Burt
Manager, Corporate Safety
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
One Baxter Parkway
Deerfield, Illinois 60015-4633

Dear Mr. Burt:

Thank you for your letter dated December 11, 1995, requesting interpretations concerning the proper recording of several cases. Please excuse the delay in our response. I will address your questions in the order they were presented and will refer to the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by citing the appropriate page and Q&A numbers wherever possible.

For OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes, 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. (page 48, section 2)

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.

Scenario 1: This case should be recorded as a lost time injury involving days away from work. If an employee suffers a work related injury or illness and is unable to report to the work establishment, the time lost must be counted as days away from work regardless of whether that employee was able to perform work at his or her personal residence.

Scenario 2: This case should be counted as a lost time injury involving days of restricted work activity. As long as the employee performs work at the work establishment (or other designated area other than the employee's personal residence), the days should be counted as days of restricted work activity. There is no set time limit that the employee must work to be considered a day of restricted work activity rather than a day away from work. If the employee performs work for any part of his or her work shift, the day should be counted as a day of restricted work activity.

Scenario 3: Employers must record injuries and illnesses which occur to their employees. Employee status involves a current employment relationship. For OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes, employment status is ended when an employee is terminated. The case need not be recorded because the injury occurred after the employee was terminated. If the employer decides not to terminate the employee, and the treating physician determines that the employee is able to perform restricted work activity, and the restricted work is available, the employer should record the case as one involving days of restricted work activity.

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


Bob Whitmore
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements