What are the recordkeeping criteria?
How should an employer record a case that results in death?
How should an employer record a case that results in days away from work?
How should an employer count a case that results in a work restriction?
Is every work-related injury or illness that results in a loss of consciousness recordable?
What are the nine exceptions to work-relatedness?
- Part 1904 outlines nine exceptions that do not need to be reported as work-related injury or illness events.
Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, except under the following conditions, which are not work-related.
1. At the time of the injury or illness, the employee was present in the work environment as a member of the general public rather than as an employee. In these situations, the injury or illness has nothing to do with the employee’s work or status as an employee.
Non-recordable — An employee of a retail store patronizes that store as a customer on a non-workday and is injured in a fall.
2. The injury or illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside the work environment. For this exception to apply, the work environment cannot have caused, contributed to, or significantly aggravated the injury or illness.
Non-recordable — A diabetic incident occurs while an employee is working. No event or exposure at work contributed in any way to the incident.
Recordable — An employee suffers a back injury at home and takes a prescription painkiller, but is able to perform all job functions. The employee then aggravates the back injury at work and requires days away because of that aggravation.
3. The injury or illness results solely from voluntary participation in a wellness program or in a medical, fitness, or recreational activity such as blood donation, physical examination, flu shot, exercise class, racquetball, or baseball. This allows the employer to exclude cases that are related to personal matters of exercise, recreation, medical examinations, or participation in blood donation programs when the activities are voluntary and are not being undertaken as a condition of work.
Non-recordable — A worker is injured while performing aerobics in the company gymnasium during the lunch hour.
Non-recordable — An employee suffers a severe reaction to a flu shot that was administered as part of a voluntary inoculation program.
4. The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee eating, drinking, or preparing food or drink for personal consumption, whether bought on the employer’s premises or brought in.
Note: If the employee is made ill by eating food contaminated by workplace contaminants (such as lead), or gets food poisoning from food supplied by the company for a business meeting or company function, the case would be considered work related.
Non-recordable — An employee is injured by choking on a sandwich brought from home while at work. Likewise, if the employee contracts food poisoning from a sandwich brought from home or purchased in the company cafeteria and must take time off to recover, the case is not considered work related.
Non-recordable — An employee eating a lunch provided by the employer chips a tooth on an olive pit. Since the injury did not result from food poisoning or food contamination from the workplace, the incident is not recordable.
5. The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee doing personal tasks unrelated to employment at the establishment outside of the employee’s assigned working hours (off-shift time).
Non-recordable — An employee uses a meeting room at the company, outside of assigned work hours, to hold a meeting for a civic group and slips and falls in the hallway.
Recordable — An employee is knitting during the lunch break and accidentally is stabbed with a knitting needle, requiring stitches. Although this was a personal task unrelated to employment, it occurred within assigned working hours (meal periods are within assigned working hours).
6. The injury or illness is solely the result of personal grooming, self-medication for a non-work-related condition, or is intentionally self-inflicted, such as attempted suicide.
Non-recordable — A burn injury from a hair dryer used at work to dry the employee’s hair.
Non-recordable — A negative reaction to a medication brought from home to treat a non-work-related condition.
Recordable — An employee punches a wall in anger, breaking several bones in the hand. Since the employee did not intend to cause the injury, it was not intentionally self-inflicted and does not meet this exception.
7. The injury or illness is caused by a motor vehicle accident and occurs on a company parking lot or company access road while the employee is commuting to or from work or on a personal errand.
Non-recordable — An employee is injured in a car accident while arriving at work, or while leaving the company’s property at the end of the day.
Note: If an employee is injured in a car accident while leaving the property to purchase supplies for work, the case is considered work related. Likewise, if an employee is injured by slipping on ice in the parking lot, the case is work related.
8. The illness is the common cold or flu. These can be excluded, even if contracted while the employee was at work.
Note: Employers must evaluate cases of contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, or hepatitis C to determine if they are work related.
9. The illness is a mental illness. Mental illness will not be considered work related unless the employee voluntarily provides the employer with an opinion from a physician or other licensed healthcare professional with appropriate training and experience, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychiatric nurse practitioner, stating that the employee has a mental illness that is work related.
Note: If the employer does not believe the reported mental illness is work related, the employer may refer the case to a physician or other licensed healthcare professional for a second opinion.