- Standard Number:1904.12
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 http://www.osha.gov.
March 6, 2000
Stuart Flatow, Director
Occupational Safety and Health
American Trucking Association
2200 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314-4677
Dear Mr. Flatow:
Thank you for your letter, dated June 21, 1999, in which you ask questions concerning how to record and report total hours worked for truck drivers and the recordability of certain injuries and illnesses occurring to over-the-road truck drivers. I will respond by citing the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Blue Book), by page and Q&A number(s), whenever possible.
Scenario: It would be unlikely for truck drivers to be sleeping in their trucks (sleeper berths) or at motels; or eat or bathe at truck stop facilities if not for being assigned to duties by the employer. As such, it may be considered that these truck drivers are working for the employer "round the clock." Of course this "round the clock employment" does not involve "round the clock driving, loading, unloading, or other "on-duty" status operations.
Question 1. For purposes of accurately recording and reporting the total number of hours worked by truck drivers, what is the most accurate way to record and report total hours worked as applied to truck drivers?
Answer: To record and report the total number of hours worked by truck drivers, employers should differentiate between: (1) the hours spent in work activities or time spent in the interest of the company; and, (2) the hours spent in normal living activities (eating, sleeping, recreation). Hours spent in the first category should be included in calculating hours worked while hours spent in the second category should not be included in the calculation.
As stated in Q&A A-5 on Page 54 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines, "The figure for hours worked should reflect the actual hours of work-related exposure for all employees. If injuries and illnesses experienced during a particular activity are recordable, then the employee's time spent in the activity should be included in the hours worked estimate. Work-related exposures include most of the employees' activities on the employers' premises as well as situations off premises where the employees are engaged in job tasks or are there as a condition of employment. For employees in travel status, the figure for hours worked should include all the employees' work activities and necessary travel functions (See Recordkeeping Guidelines Page 36, Q&A C-19 for activities covered in travel status)."
Recently we have become aware of the problems faced by employers in the trucking industry when calculating the hours worked figure in response to OSHA's Data Initiative collection. In discussion with several trucking employers, we have developed the attached methodology to aid employers in the trucking industry in calculating this figure. We intend to include this worksheet in this year's data collection cycle (for employers in SIC 421 only). We would appreciate your review of the worksheet and any comments you may have.
Question 2. It is not uncommon for truck drivers to sleep in their trucks (sleeper berths) or motel accommodations. It is also not uncommon for truck drivers to bathe at truck stops. Would an injury that occurs to a truck driver while in the sleeper berth or at a truck stop be considered a recordable injury? Would an injury to a truck driver who slipped in the truck stop shower; or an injury to a truck driver that occurred while sleeping in the sleeper berth constitute a recordable injury, assuming that the injury met the OSHA recordability criteria?
Answer: No, injuries and illnesses occurring under these circumstances would not be considered work related and therefore not recordable. As indicated in Q&A C-19 on Page 36 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines, "When a traveling employee checks into a hotel or motel, he establishes a 'home away from home.' Thereafter, his activities are evaluated in the same manner as for nontraveling employees." Thus, when truck drivers stop at a truck stop facility or hotel/motel to eat, bathe, or sleep, they establish a "home away from home." Any incidents occurring to the truck drivers at this home away from home would not be considered work-related.
Over-the-road truck drivers present the unique situation in that they commonly sleep within the truck itself. OSHA believes this situation should be evaluated using the same "home away from home" criteria as applied to employees staying in hotels or motels. Any incidents occurring to the truck drivers while sleeping in truck sleeper berths would not be considered work related for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. This is similar to the guidance provided to the oil industry for employees in off-duty status on off shore oil rigs.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact the Division of Recordkeeping Requirements at 202-693-1702.
Cheryle A. Greenaugh
Directorate of Information Technology