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 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 develops a rash from an oil used in the manufacturing process and was given an over-the-counter cream at the clinic, is that considered "more than first aid?"

A: No. Using a non-prescription medication at non-prescription strength is considered first aid for OSHA recordkeeping purposes.

Keep in mind that when medications are available in both prescription and non-prescription form, a recommendation by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional to use a non-prescription medication at prescription strength is considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes.

Q: Should "denied" claims be logged on the OSHA 300 Log of occupational illnesses and injuries?

A: Many cases that are recorded in the OSHA system are also compensable under the state workers' compensation system, but many others are not. 

When an injury or illness occurs to an employee, the employer must independently analyze the case in light of both the OSHA recording criteria and the requirements of the state workers' compensation system to determine whether the case is recordable or compensable, or both. 

Your case must be judged by the criteria of the OSHA recordkeeping rule to determine if it should be placed on the 300 Log. 

Workers' compensation is not a consideration of whether the case is OSHA recordable or not.

Q: While walking, an employee lost his balance and fell forward landing on his left arm. The ground conditions under foot within this area have been inspected post incident, and can be accurately described as compacted road base material with a small scattering of small rocks on the surface comparable to a walkway.

No protruding rocks or potholes were found in the path the employee was traveling. Can this be deemed non-work-related as the work conditions or environment didn't contribute to the event?

A: This is a work-related injury. OSHA's no-fault recordkeeping system requires recording work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in the work environment, regardless of the level of employer control or non-control involved. 

A case is presumed work-related if, and only if, an event or exposure in the work environment is a discernible cause of the injury or illness. 

The act of falling is a clear event within the work environment that caused the injury, establishing work relatedness

For more information, contact CBIA's Phillip Montgomery (860.244.1982).

Filed Under: OSHA, Safety

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