There has been significant focus on recordkeeping since OSHA announced changes to the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records in September. In light of this focus and the new changes, now is a good time to check your recordkeeping prowess (whether you are new to the list or not) before the new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2015. Deciding what injuries or illnesses get recorded on the OSHA 300 log, and then properly recording them, is deceptively more difficult than some employers realize. We regularly review OSHA 300 logs and it is rare to find one that is completed 100% correctly.
This blog post is the first of 5 in a series that will give you the opportunity to test your recordkeeping knowledge. The final post will address the most common record keeping errors in completing the 300 form.
QUIZ #1: What is Workrelatedness?
Under the OSHA recordkeeping rules, only those injuries or illnesses that are work-related must be recorded (assuming they meet the other elements for recording as well).
How would you answer the following questions about work-relatedness?
- Sally Server works for a local restaurant as a server. On her day off she decides to take her family to eat to take advantage of her employee discount. The discount applies to every member of her family. After the meal, Sally's children are playing in the waiting area when one of them trips on an extension cord and falls hits his wrist on a nearby bench and fracturing it. Is this injury work related?
- During the meal Sally cuts her hand on her water glass. When she inspects it she sees there is a crack in it that caused her to cut her hand. Is this injury work related?
- Sally Server is running late for her shift. She speeds into the parking lot and runs into her co-worker Calvin Cook's car fairly hard as he is also pulling into the parking lot. Calvin hits his head on the window and is injured. Is this injury work related?
- Sally Server has been working all day long and is exhausted and starving. She decides to take a break and get something to eat. She clocks out and gets her lunch out of the employee refrigerator. She starts eating some chicken legs she brought from home. While eating the chicken she chokes on a bone and passes out. Is this work-related?
- What if Sally had ordered a plate of chicken from the restaurant instead? Would it be work related? What if she got food poisoning from the chicken? Would it be work related?
- What if Sally Server had not clocked out? Would it be work-related?
- Calvin Chef calls out sick with chills and fever and thinks he has the flu. Two days later Sally Server reports that the flu she thought she had last week has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis. Calvin Chef goes to his doctor who tests him for tuberculosis and the test comes back positive. Is Calvin's tuberculosis work related? What about Sally's?
- Stan Salesperson travels extensively for his job both locally and across the country. While driving a company car Stan is in a car accident on his way to visit a local client and is seriously injured. Is this work-related? What if Stan was driving his own car?
- No. The children are not employees, despite the employee discount.
- No. At the time of the injury or illness, if the employee was present in the work environment as a member of the general public rather than as an employee it is not work related.
- No. If 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 it is not work related.
- No. The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee eating, drinking, or preparing food or drink for personal consumption.
- The injury 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). If the employee is made ill by ingesting food contaminated by workplace contaminants (such as lead), or gets food poisoning from food supplied by the employer, the case would be considered work-related.
- Punching in and out with a time clock (or signing in and out) does not affect the outcome for determining work-relatedness.
- Not if the illness is the common cold or flu, but contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, hepatitis A, or plague are considered work-related if the employee is infected at work.
- Yes, there is no difference whose car it was. The key here is whether the employee was engaged in work activities "in the interest of the employer." If the employee is injured in an automobile accident while running errands for the company or traveling to make a speech on behalf of the company, the employee is present at the scene as a condition of employment, and any resulting injury would be work-related.