How to Determine If an Injury Is Work-Related

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How do I determine if an injury is “work-related”? What is required by OSHA for record keeping when it comes to workplace injuries?

The Safety Exchange Says: A work-related injury from a Workers Compensation standpoint may differ from an OSHA-recordable injury or illness.

OSHA considers an injury work-related when an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the injury or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury. When an injury is work-related, OSHA requires the employer to determine if the injury is recordable and if so it must be placed on the OSHA 300 injury log within 7 days. Recordable injuries are those that involve death, loss of consciousness, one or more days of lost work (with the exception of the day of injury), restricted work days and any medical treatment that goes beyond first aid. First aid can be provided at a doctor’s office, so don’t assume an injury is OSHA recordable just because an employee visited the doctor. You can find a good summary of the OSHA record keeping requirements and forms here.

From a workers compensation standpoint an injury is typically considered work related when it arises from the normal course and scope of your employment. An injury could occur in your workplace, at a remote location, or anywhere else you are performing work for the benefit of your employer.

If you are volunteering or doing work tasks that are considered “off the clock” your injury will not be considered work related. If it can be proved that you and one of your coworkers were drunk or intentionally participating in horseplay or violating safety rules, chances are you do not have a work related injury.

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