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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

November 1, 1996

Ms. Linda Ballas
Linda Ballas & Associates
4413 Copper Creek Lane
Toledo, Ohio 43615

Dear Ms. Ballas:

Thank you for your letter dated October 21, requesting an interpretation regarding the proper recording of cases involving restricted work activity. Whenever possible, I will reference the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by stating the appropriate page and Q&A numbers.

Q If an employee is not able to do any part of his NORMAL job, yet the company finds something else work related for the employee to do, such as watching training videos, answering the phone or filing, do these days have to be recorded on the OSHA log as lost time days or restricted work activity?

A 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. There is no set job duty or 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.

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