CONN-OSHA Answers Your Safety Questions: August 2023

HR & Safety

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 contact CBIA’s Phillip Montgomery. He will treat all questions confidentially and never share any identifying company information with CONN-OSHA or anyone else.

Q: When an injury is evaluated as not work related, can you take it off your OSHA 300 log as long as you keep the paperwork related to that injury stating it’s not work related with the file?

A: Yes, during the storage period, you must update your stored OSHA 300 Logs to include newly discovered recordable injuries or illnesses and to show any changes that have occurred in the classification of previously recorded injuries and illnesses. 

If the description or outcome of a case changes, you must remove or line out the original entry and enter the new information.

Q: How is an employer to determine whether an employee has “recovered completely” from a previous injury or illness such that a later injury or illness of the same type, impacting the same part of the body resulting from an event or exposure at work is a new case under section 1904.6(a)(2)? 

If an employee’s symptoms disappear for a day and then resurface the next day, should the employer conclude that the later symptoms represent a new case?

An employee has “recovered completely” from a previous injury or illness, for purposes of section 1904.6(a)(2), when they are fully healed or cured. 

The employer must use their best judgment based on factors such as the passage of time since the symptoms last occurred and the physical appearance of the affected part of the body. 

If the signs and symptoms of a previous injury disappear for a day only to reappear the following day, that is strong evidence the injury has not properly healed. 

The employer may, but is not required to, consult a physician or other licensed healthcare provider.

Where the employer does consult a PLHCP to determine whether an employee has recovered completely from a prior injury or illness, they must follow the PLHCP’s recommendation.

In the event the employer receives recommendations from two or more PLHCPs, the employer may decide which recommendation is the most authoritative and record the case based on that recommendation.

Q: If an employee is let go from a job based on poor job performance and after being let go comes back and says they were injured on the job, but there is no evidence an injury occurred, is this considered an OSHA recordable?

If you determine that there was no work-related injury, you do not have to record the case. 

Under the OSHA recordkeeping system, the employer has the ultimate responsibility for making good-faith recordkeeping determinations regarding an injury and/or illness. 

Employers must decide if and how a particular case should be recorded and their decision must not be an arbitrary one.

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


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