CONN-OSHA Answers Your Safety Questions: October 2023
Welcome to our monthly column featuring CONN-OSHA experts answering some of the most commonly asked safety questions from CBIA member companies.
Most of the responses from Catherine Zinsser, a CONN-OSHA occupational safety training specialist, will be on recordkeeping since that is the focus of most questions she fields.
But if you’d like to ask her a question on another topic, please email CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery.
He will treat all questions confidentially and never share any identifying company information with CONN-OSHA or anyone else.
Q: If an employee has an adverse reaction to a smallpox vaccination, is it recordable under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule?
A: If an employee has an adverse reaction to a smallpox vaccination, the reaction is recordable if it is work related (see 29 CFR 1904.5) and meets the general recording criteria contained in 29 CFR 1904.7.
A reaction caused by a smallpox vaccination is work related if the vaccination was necessary to enable the employee to perform their work duties.
Such a reaction is work-related even though the employee was not required to receive it, if the vaccine was provided by the employer to protect the employee against exposure to smallpox in the work environment.
For example, if a healthcare employer establishes a program to vaccinate employees who may be involved in treating people suffering from the effects of a smallpox outbreak, reactions to the vaccine would be work related.
The same principle applies to adverse reactions among emergency response workers whose duties may cause them to be exposed to smallpox.
The vaccinations in this circumstance are analogous to inoculations given to employees to immunize them from diseases to which they may be exposed to in the course of work-related overseas travel.
Q: If an employee is given antibiotics or antivirals after a possible communicable/infectious disease exposure, is it OSHA-recordable regardless of seroconversion?
A: No. To be recordable on the OSHA log an injury or illness must exist.
Exposures without signs or symptoms of the illness are not recordable, even if medical treatment is administered.
Q: A corporation pays a licensed professional to offer massage on-site as an employee benefit. The employee chooses on their own to see the on-site professional.
Because the work the employee does is physical, they benefit from the soft tissue therapy and uses the service as needed. When should an employee’s condition be categorized as recordable upon receipt of the massage?
A: Massage therapy is considered first aid and is included in the recordkeeping rule’s first aid list. Massage therapy does not make a case recordable.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).
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