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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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

May 24, 2000

Gary Thibodeaux
Regional Director of Health and Safety
LVI Services Inc.
1201 Childers Road
Orange, TX 77630

Dear Mr. Thibodeaux:

Thank you for your letter of February 25, 2000 requesting clarification as to how to calculate lost workdays for construction workers. I will respond by referring to the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Question (1): A construction trade employee sustains a lost workday injury the day before the end of the project. He has worked for us for several years on a project-by-project basis. The next project is not scheduled for two weeks. Would we be required to include the two weeks between assignments when calculating lost workdays?

Answer: No. Lost workday cases "occur when the injured or ill employee experiences either days away from work, days of restricted work activity, or both.....When counting the number of days away from work or days of restricted work activity, do not include: (1) The initial day of injury or onset of illness, or (2) any days on which the employee would not have worked even though able to work (holidays, vacations, etc.)." ( Recordkeeping Guidelines Page 47 Section B). In this case, you would not record the day of the injury, but you would record the last day of the project since he was expected to work.

Question (2): We are a national contractor that hires local labor to supplement our regular crews. They are hired on a specific project basis and at the completion of the job their employment ends. If one of these local laborers were to have a lost time accident, would we be required to count lost workdays beyond the completion project date?

Answer: No. "Termination of employment may stop the count of lost workdays if unrelated to the employee's injury or illness [Bold emphasis added]." See Recordkeeping Guidelines Page 49, Q&A B-11.

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


Cheryle A. Greenaugh
Director, Directorate of Information Technology