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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

June 16, 1997

William M. Bernhart, CIH
4008 Alden Drive
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220

Dear Mr. Bernhart:

Thank you for your letter dated June 2, 1997 asking if rust ring treatment of an eye injury is an OSHA recordable case.

As indicated on page 43 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, any form of removal of foreign bodies embedded in the eye is considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes. This would include any technique to remove rust ring from the cornea. If the foreign body is not embedded, removal by means of irrigation or the use of a cotton swab are considered first aid. Any other means of removal (e.g. spud, etc.) must be considered medical treatment.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact my staff at Area Code (202) 219-6463.


Bob Whitmore
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements