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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 14, 1999

Gina Reid
Secretary to County of York
Human Resources
P. O. Box 532
Yorktown, VA 23690

Dear Ms. Reid:

Thank you for your FAX dated March 3, 1999 requesting clarification on the recordability of three cases. Please excuse the delay in our response.

As I am sure you are aware, employers in Virginia, including State and Local governments, are under the jurisdiction of Virginia OSHA, not Federal OSHA. Such Virginia employees are subject to the requirements of Virginia's State plan. However, injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements promulgated by State plans are required to be substantially identical to 29 CFR Part 1904. In order to ensure the uniformity of the injury and illness statistics, State plans must promulgate recordkeeping and reporting requirements that are identical to the Federal requirements for determining the types of injuries and illnesses that will be entered into the records and the manner in which they are entered. Therefore, although you are subject to the requirements of the State plan of Virginia, we will provide you with answers to your questions, citing the Federal Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (a.k.a. the Blue Book). The Virginia OSHA program may be reached at 804/786-2377 for more information.

Case 1: We had an employee who was a firefighter who developed lung cancer and has since deceased due to complications relating to his cancer. Our carrier determined through the medical records that the type of cancer (small cell carcinoma) was related to years of cigarette smoking. However, his doctor felt that 12+ years as a firefighter contributed to the cause of his cancer as well. I feel that it is recordable. If it is recordable, do I enter a date of death in Number 8 of the OSHA Log 200?

Answer: Yes, it is recordable as an illness under Column 7c with the date of death entered in Column 8.

Case 2: We have an employee who was exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Is this considered an exposure to a physical agent or respiratory poisoning?

Answer: It is recordable as an illness under Column 7d (Note that it is specifically mentioned in Part VI. Definitions on the back of the OSHA Log 200).

Case 3: We have an employee who is a teacher in a Headstart program. A four-year old screamed in her ear, causing a temporary threshold shift. The doctor felt that her symptoms would resolve in 2-3 days, and they have without any further treatment. Is this recordable?

Answer: The case would be considered an injury (and not an illness) because it was caused by an instantaneous event (the scream) or exposure. As long as no medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job was involved, and the shift was not persistent, it would not be recordable (Blue Book, P29, Chart 1).

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions or comments concerning Federal Recordkeeping Requirements, please contact the Division of Recordkeeping Requirements at: 202-693-1702.


Cheryle A. Greenaugh
Director, Directorate of Information Technology