Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1904.12(e)|
|Compliance guidance provided by OSHA represents OSHA's explanation, clarification or application of the provisions of the OSH Act, OSHA standards or OSHA regulations, but it does not add to, alter or replace those provisions, which alone are legally binding. Compliance guidance depends on the particular facts and circumstances described in the request for guidance. The existence of other facts or circumstances may lead to a different conclusion. You should also be aware that OSHA's compliance guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction and can also be affected by subsequent rulemaking or other changes in the law. One way for you to track future changes that might affect the information provided herein is by consulting OSHA's web-site at http://www.osha.gov.|
December 1, 2000
2640 11th Avenue
Greeley, Colorado 80631
Dear Mr. Haynes:
Thank you for your letter dated April 18, 2000, requesting guidance on the proper recording of occupational injuries on the OSHA Log 200. Your letter presents the following two scenarios:
Example 1. An employee is working and injures his back while lifting. That employee is seen by our staff and is instructed on applying ice and is given stretching exercises. The injured employee returns to regular duty with no lost time, no further medical care is warranted, and symptoms are resolved. Is this a recordable injury and should this be placed on the 200 logs?
Example 2. An employee is working and injures his elbow. He is seen by our staff and is given instruction on proper icing and given exercises. The employee returns to regular duty with no lost time. One week later, the employee is still having pain with the elbow but to a lesser degree than at the time of the original evaluation. The employee is evaluated by our staff and given an updated plan of the same conservative treatment. Is this a recordable injury?
As indicated on page 43 of the Recordkeeping Guidelines for Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (Blue Book, copy enclosed), application of hot or cold compresses during a second or subsequent visit to medical personnel is considered medical treatment for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. As indicated in the Blue Book, first aid treatment is generally "one-time treatment and subsequent observation" of minor injuries. Page 43. In the Ergonomics Program Management Guidelines for Meatpacking Plants (Green Book), which provides comprehensive guidance for the recording of Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) on the OSHA 200 Log, OSHA included as medical treatment "self-administered treatment when made available to employees by their employer" (Green Book at page 14).
We assume, based on the facts presented in your letter, that the employer is making treatments available to their employees. The employer provides the employees with the services of ErgoMed, which provides the treatment plans to employees as described in your letter. Further, we assume that the conservative treatment involves more than a "one-time" treatment, since the employees are "instructed on applying ice" or "given instruction on proper icing" and are "given stretching exercises." This does not sound like a situation where an employee with a minor injury is given a one-time first aid treatment and no further treatment is recommended. Thus, what is being prescribed is medical treatment which would trigger the requirement for recording under Part 1904.
OSHA's recordkeeping requirements are set by statute 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.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any further questions, please contact the Division of Recordkeeping Requirements at (202) 693-1702.
Cheryle A. Greenaugh
Directorate of Information Technology
|Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents|