The key word to remember is WORK-RELATED.  An injury or illness is considered by 29 CFR 1904 to be work-related IF the event or exposure in the workplace CAUSED, CONTRIBUTED TO, or EXACERBATED the PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. Basically, the injury or illness is presumed to be work-related if it resulted from events or exposures in the workplace, unless an exception directly applies.

Non-Exempt Employers Must Keep Injury Report Forms of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA RECORDABLES) that Result in One of the Following:


Death Medical Treatment that Goes Beyond First Aid
Days Away From Work Loss of Consciousness
Restricted Work Diagnosis of a Significant Injury or Illness by a Physician (or other Licensed Health Care Professional)
Transfer to Another Job Work-Related Cancer
Needlestick and Sharps Injuries Work-Related Chronic and Irreversible Disease
Incidents Where Medical Removal is Required Work-Related Muskoskeletal Disorders
Occupational Hearing Loss Fracture or Cracked Bone
Work-Related Tuberculosis  



chart to help determine if an accident or illness is work related and is therefore OSHA recordable


Injuries and Illnesses are Not Considered Work-Related If . . .

 1.  At the time of the illness or injury, the employee was in the work place as a member of the general public instead of as an  employee.

 2.  While the injury or illness may surface at work, it resulted solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside the work site.
3.   The injury or illness results entirely from the employee’s voluntary participation in a wellness program or in a medical, fitness, or recreational activity such as a blood donation, physical examination, flu shot, exercise class, racquetball, or baseball.
4.  The illness or injury is the result of the employee eating, drinking, or preparing food or drink for personal consumption (either brought on the employer’s premises or brought in).  (i.e. If the employee is injured when choking on chips while at work…the case isn't considered work-related.)
5.  The employee is injured off the clock while doing personal tasks that are unrelated to their employment, though they are at the workplace.
6.  The employee is injured or becomes ill as the result of personal grooming, OR self-medication for a non-work-related condition, OR the injury or illness is self-inflicted.
7.  The injury or illness occurs because of a motor vehicle accident and occurs on a company parking lot or company road while the employee is commuting to or from work.
8.  The employee has the common cold or flu.  (Note: Contagious diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, hepatitis A, or plague are considered work-related if the employee is infected at work.)
9.  The employee’s illness is a mental illness.  Mental illness is not considered work-related unless the employee voluntarily provides the employer with an opinion from a physician or other licensed health care professional with appropriate training and experience, stating that the employee has a mental illness that is work-related. (Opinion from a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, etc.)

What if it isn't immediately clear whether it is work-related or not?

Evaluate the employee’s work environment and duties to help decide if any events or exposures in that work environment caused or contributed to the injury or illness in question (or significantly aggravated an existing condition). 

What is Considered Significant Aggravation?

1.  Death (if the pre-existing injury or illness would likely not have resulted in death if the incident or exposure hadn't occurred)
2.  Loss of Consciousness (if the pre-existing injury or illness would likely not have resulted in death if the incident or exposure hadn't occurred)
3.   One or more days away from work, or days of restricted work, or days of job transfer that otherwise would not have happened if the incident or exposure hadn't occurred.
4.  Medical treatment is required after the incident or exposure, in a case where no medical treatment was previously needed.  In other words, the change in medical treatment was necessitated by the incident or exposure.











Source:  http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9636


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