Welcome to our monthly column featuring CONN-OSHA experts answering some of the most commonly asked 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's 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: We are considering having a holiday party but, because of COVID, it would be strictly voluntary, and would be at an off-site facility. If someone were injured, because it’s voluntary and is off-site. would this be reportable?
A: No. Since the party is a voluntary event any injuries or illnesses that occur at the event would not be entered in the OSHA injury and illness recording log.
OSHA’s Determination of Work Relatedness Standards discuss situations where an injury or illness that occurred in the work environment falls under one of the listed exemptions and is not considered work-related.
Q: Are self-inflicted injuries recordable? We had an employee kick a wall and break a toe after becoming upset at a supervisor’s request.
A: OSHA’s Determination of Work Relatedness Standards state that you must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.
Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception in OSHA regulations specifically applies. So, yes the event would be recordable.
Q: If an employee is placed under restricted work by a physician and the employer does not have any available restricted work, so the employee stays home, is this still classified as “days away from work”?
A: In this scenario, the physician determined that the employee should be placed on a work restriction, but the employer was not able to accommodate the employee and the employer sent the employee home.
Under OSHA’s General Recording Criteria, because the employer has the ultimate responsibility to determine if and how a case should be recorded, the case should be designated as “days away from work.”
For more information, contact CBIA's Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).