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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

December 3, 1997

Dee Woodhull
Manager, Safety, Industrial Hygiene,
and Workers Compensation
United Technologies Corporation
United Technologies Building
Hartford, CT 06101

Dear Mrs. Woodhull:

Thank you for your letter of July 23, 1997, requesting injury and illness recordkeeping interpretations with regard to several situations occurring in your workplace. Please excuse the long delay in our response. I will respond by restating your questions and then answering them. I will cite the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by page and Q&A number(s) whenever possible.

1. Should someone who receives a Rossiter Workout be recorded on the OSHA 200 Log, and if so, why and under what circumstances would the case be recordable?

As I understand it, the Rossiter program is a non-traditional form of treatment consisting of a series of "workouts" that involve various stretching exercises administered by trainers and co-workers who are not licensed health care professionals. According to the literature from Rossiter & Associates, Inc., the program is normally used for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion arm and wrist injuries, or conditions commonly referred to as cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs).

The most comprehensive guidance for the recording of CTDs on the OSHA 200 Log is found on pages 14 and 15 of the Ergonomics Program Management Guidelines for Meatpacking Plants (photocopies enclosed). The ergonomics guidelines state a recordable CTD exists if there is at least one physical finding OR at least one subjective symptom (pain, numbness, tingling, aching, stiffness, or burning , etc.) combined with:

1) medical treatment (including self-administered treatment when made available to employees by their employer), or

2) lost workdays (includes restricted work activity), or

3) transfer/rotation to another job.

Examples of medical treatment include use of heat therapy, hot or cold compresses, whirlpool bath therapy, and hot or cold soaking therapy during second or subsequent visit to medical personnel. Medical treatment also includes a series of chiropractic treatments (Pp. 43 Q&A 45, Recordkeeping Guidelines). In a number of interpretative letters, OSHA has considered physical therapy to be a similar treatment. Therefore, physical therapy is considered medical treatment when administered on a second or subsequent visit to medical personnel, including self-administered treatment when made available to employees by their employer. To be considered medical treatment, self-administered treatment must be performed at the medical facility or on the employer's premises when provided by the employer. The treatment does not have to be supervised by medical personnel to be considered medical treatment. On the other hand, if the treatment is self-administered at home or if the treatment was given only on the initial visit to medical personnel, it is considered first aid and would not constitute medical treatment.

For OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes, OSHA considers the Rossiter program a form of physical therapy. Therefore, cases where an employee is experiencing subjective symptoms associated with workplace repetitive motion or trauma that result in application of the Rossiter exercises two or more times on the employers premises, the case must be recorded on the OSHA 200 Log as an illness, with a check mark entered in column 7(f) and the appropriate entries in columns 9 through 13.

Q&A B-6 on Page 30 of the Guidelines states, "Entries on the log...should be made only when the exposure results in a recordable work injury or illness." If there are no symptoms or abnormal health conditions, then there is no recordable case, regardless of use of the Rossiter system or any other type of therapy. Furthermore, Q&A B-9 on Page 30 addresses the situation of receiving preventative care when not injured or ill. This care does not make a case recordable. If, however, the employee is symptomatic, the medical treatment criteria outlined above must be applied to determine if the case is recordable or not.

2. How should injuries or illnesses be recorded where no medical treatment is provided and where work restrictions apply only on the actual day of injury?

If the restriction does not go beyond the day of injury or onset of illness, the case is recorded as a nonfatal case without lost workdays in either column 6 or 13 (C-2, page 52).

3. How should strains/sprains in which a second treatment of heat or cold is applied be recorded?

Injuries for which application of heat or cold therapy during a second or subsequent visit to medical personnel was provided or should have been provided are recordable if the injury is work related.

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


Stephen A. Newell
OSHA Office of Statistics




July 23, 1997

Mr. Steve Newell, Director
Office of Statistics U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Mr. Newell:

UTC has just completed a major evaluation of its occupational safety and health recordkeeping practices, worldwide. In the course of the assessment, several issues have been raised regarding OSHA recordkeeping requirements, for which we would like a written interpretation from you.

1. Several of our operations have begun providing the Rossiter program as a means of treating pain and discomfort experienced by employees in the course of their work. Rossiter management describes its system in the following way:

"The Rossiter System gets employees out of pain fast when the repetitive nature of their job strains their connective tissues. For workers who are just beginning to experience pain, one brief workout is usually enough to bring back comfort and full mobility."

"Certified Rossiter trainers assist their fellow workers in Rossiter Workouts which typically require 30 minutes. After the initial workouts, which eliminate the pain, workers have access to effective relief when and if they need it."

"Through the application of carefully measured weights, together with facilitated movements and stretches, the constrictions in the connective tissue are quickly released."

"Administered by company employees trained in the techniques, the workouts relieve the tension and stress built up over the long term. Once a worker has participated in the initial workouts, and has been restored to full strength and motion, they participate in further workouts only when needed."

The Rossiter System is used in a few of our plants as a voluntary means to reduce pain through massage/stretching. It is done on the worksite, during regular work hours, and the employee remains "on the clock" during the workout. The system is applied without the supervision of any medical personnel. It is available upon request by the employee and the massage/stretching is administered by another employee who has been trained in the procedures. Employees need not give a reason for requesting a massage/stretching session. No records are kept of the number of workouts an individual attends.

We seek a written determination from you as to whether someone who receives a workout should be recorded on the OSHA 200 Log, and if so, please specify why and under what circumstances a case would be recordable.

2. How should injuries or illnesses be recorded where no medical treatment is provided and where work restrictions apply only on the actual day of injury?

3. How should strains/sprains in which a second treatment of heat or cold is applied be recorded?

Your prompt response is greatly appreciated. In addition to your written reply, we are most grateful for the helpful advice we have received in our numerous telephone conversations with you and your staff on a variety of recordkeeping questions.


Dee Woodhull
Manager, Safety, Industrial Hygiene,
and Workers Compensation