How To Reduce OSHA Recordable Injuries

The OSHA 300 Log

Work Relatedness/Causality:

An injury or illness is considered work-related if the condition Arose Out of Employment during the Course Of Employment (AOE/COE), due to an event or exposure at the workplace.  A condition is not work-related if it arose coincidentally while at the workplace, but due to factors outside the workplace, or while performing personal or volunteer activities at the workplace.  Thus the condition must be caused or significantly aggravated by an identifiable event or exposure arising from work.

General OSHA Injuries Recording Criteria:

  • Death
  • Days away from work
  • Restricted work
  • Transfer to another job
  • Medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Diagnosis of a significant injury or illness


Any work-related death must be recorded on the OSHA 300 log and also reported to OSHA within 8 hours.

Days Away From Work:

Even one day!  If the patient has worked today and returns to full duty tomorrow, no time loss has occurred and the case is not recordable.  Weekends and holidays count!  Even if tomorrow is Christmas, return them tomorrow if you are treating a first aid case, otherwise time loss will have to be recorded.  The fact that the worker doesn’t usually work the following day, be it the weekend, holiday, vacation, or “they don’t work Thursday” is irrelevant.  If they are ABLE to work tomorrow, no matter what day it is, release them for tomorrow.  All too often I see patients being treated on a Friday and released for Monday to full duty.  Well, you have just given them a medically excused absence for Saturday and Sunday and the case is now OSHA recordable.

Restricted Work:

A worker is considered restricted when they are prevented from performing any of their regular duties performed within the last week, or if work is restricted to less than the full workday they normally would have worked.  Always ask the patient what their job duties are and determine if the injury prevents them from doing normal job functions.  If in doubt, call the employer and ask about specific duties.  If they have a restriction that is not part of their regular job functions, you don’t need to specify unnecessary restrictions.

Medical Treatment Beyond First Aid:

This is the area where treating physicians can easily make an otherwise non-recordable injury recordable.  According to OSHA, the following list is considered First Aid: (a) Using a nonprescription medication at nonprescription strength; (b) Administering tetanus immunizations; (c) Cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin; (d) Using wound coverings such as bandages, Band-Aids, gauze pads, etc.;or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips; (e) Using hot or cold therapy; (f) Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.; (g) Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim; (h) Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister; (i) Using eye patches; (j) Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab; (k) Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means; (l) Using finger guards; (m) Using massages; or (n) Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress.

Let’s examine some of these a bit more closely: (members-only content)

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