Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1904
• Status: Archived

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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

THE ISSUES RELATED TO OSHA AND WORK AT HOME ARE PRESENTLY UNDER REVIEW. SEE ASSISTANT SECRETARY JEFFRESS' JANUARY 28, 2000 TESTIMONY REGARDING OSHA COVERAGE OF WORKING AT HOME.

April 18, 1996

Linda Ballas
Linda Ballas & Associates
4413 Copper Creek Lane
Toledo, Ohio 43615

Dear Ms. Ballas:

Thank you for your letter dated February 19, requesting several OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping interpretations. Whenever possible, I will refer to the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses by stating the appropriate page and Q&A numbers.

Q1. What is the difference between an avulsion and an amputation?

A1. An avulsion is a tearing or forcible separation of tissue. An amputation is loss or removal of a limb, body part or organ.

Q2. If an employee loses any part of his finger, such as the tip or any part before the first joint, should this be described in column F as a partial amputation?

A2. Yes.

Q3. Is an avulsion recordable if there is no treatment?

A3. The distinction between medical treatment and first aid relates to the recordability criteria for minor injuries. First aid involves treatment of only minor injuries. As found on page 42 of the Guidelines, an injury is not minor if (a) it can be treated only by a physician or licensed medical personnel; (2) it impairs bodily function such as the normal use of limbs; (3) it results in damage to the physical structure of a non-superficial nature; or (4) it involves complications which require follow up medical treatment. If it is determined that the avulsion meets any one of these criteria, the injury must be recorded regardless of the treatment provided. All work related deaths, illnesses and non-minor injuries are recordable cases per se.

Q4. Is a sidewalk that is directly next to a parking lot still considered to be part of the parking lot?

A4. Company parking facilities are generally not considered part of the employer's premises for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. Injuries or illnesses which occur to employees on these parking lots are not presumed to be work related, and are not recordable unless the employee was engaged in some work related activity or present as a condition of employment (page 33, Q&A C-3). The parking lot is defined as the area on which cars can be parked, and does not include surrounding sidewalks.

Q5. Is a sidewalk and steps that are in the parking lot considered part of the parking lot if the employee has to climb up/down the steps in the parking lot which takes them to the sidewalk?

A5. Stairs and sidewalks contained within the perimeter of a parking lot are considered part of the parking lot for OSHA recordkeeping purposes.

Q6. Is a "public sidewalk" that employees use as well as the "public" considered part of the employer's premises? The employees have to use the public sidewalk to get to their plant.

A6. A public sidewalk is not considered part of the employer's premises.

Q7. If an injury occurs on this "public sidewalk", and more than first aid is involved, is this recordable?

A7. This case should be evaluated using the criteria established in the section "Injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures off premises" on pages 35 through 37 of the Guidelines. Work relationship must be established, it is not presumed. The employee must be engaged in a work related activity or present as a condition of employment for a case to be work related. If the employee is simply walking on a public sidewalk from the parking lot to the place of employment, for example, as part of the normal commute, the incident would not be recordable. (page 36, C-14)

Q8. An employee is in the company parking lot, steps on a curb, then onto the sidewalk, and has an injury on the sidewalk (work relationship was established). Would this be recordable if there was more than first aid treatment?

A8. Yes. Sidewalks surrounding company parking lots are considered part of the employer's premises. Injuries and illnesses which result from an event or exposure on the employer's premises are considered work related for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes (page 32, section C1). Work related injuries which require treatment beyond first aid are recordable (page 42, section F1).

Q9. An employee has to use a swipe badge to get through the gate and is now on the employer's premises, has a car accident prior to "clocking in" while on the premises and has treatment beyond first aid, is this recordable?

A9. An employee's normal commute from home to office (i.e. parking lot) and return is not considered to be work related (page 36, Q&A C-19). Therefore, any injury or illness occurring during this trip would not be recordable.

Q10. An employee comes back into the facility during second shift to sell "Am-Way" to co-workers. He has an injury inside the plant requiring treatment beyond first aid. Is this recordable?

A10. Yes, unless he was present as a member of the general public and not an employee. Injuries and illnesses which result from an event or exposure on the employer's premises are considered work related for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes (page 32, section C1). Work related injuries which require treatment beyond first aid are recordable (page 42, section F1). For cases such as this to be recordable, there must be some relationship between the person's presence on the premises and his or her status as an employee. Employers should ask themselves, Would the person have been on the premises but for the fact that he or she was an employee? It is important to note that the focus is on the status of the person as an employee, not on the activity the person was engaged in at the time of the event or exposure (page 34, C-9).

Q11. An employee is attending a mandatory training at a facility "off-site". She drives into the parking lot, gets out of her car and is walking across the parking lot going to the training building and slips on the ice. She has treatment beyond first aid. Is this recordable? (the class did not begin yet)

A11. To determine work relationship for this scenario, it must first be established whether the employee was in "travel status" or engaged in her normal commute. Employees in travel status must either be: (1) outside their normal area of operation, or (2) working off premises for more than a normal workday (such as staying overnight) (page 37, Q&A C-22). Employees off premises in non-travel status work within their normally scheduled hours and normal geographic area of operation. An interpretation of "normal geographic area" includes the town or city where the employee normally works and directly adjoining municipalities. If the employee was in "travel status", the injury would be considered work related and should be recorded. If the injury occurred during a normal commute, it would not be considered work related and should not be recorded (page 36, C-19).

Q12. If an employee is injured on the premises, but has not "clocked" in yet, has an injury requiring more than first aid, is this recordable? The employee comes into work to read the newspaper and visit co-workers.

A12. Yes. Injuries and illnesses which result from an event or exposure on the employer's premises are considered work related for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes (page 32, section C1). Work related injuries which require treatment beyond first aid are recordable (page 42, section F1). For cases such as this to be recordable, there must be some relationship between the person's presence on the premises and his or her status as an employee. Employers should ask themselves, Would the person have been on the premises but for the fact that he or she was an employee? It is important to note that the focus is on the status of the person as an employee, not on the activity the person was engaged in at the time of the event or exposure (page 34, C-9).

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

Sincerely,



Bob Whitmore
Chief
Division of Recordkeeping Requirements


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.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents