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Question: 

A man and his son break into a substation in the middle of the night to steal copper. They cut an energized cable and an arc flash badly burns both the man and his son. They are discovered by a security guard and are both taken to and admitted to a hospital to recover from their injuries. The man is a current employee. Is it recordable?

Answer:

NO. The injury would not be considered work-related because he was in the workplace outside of normal working hours for non work-related reasons.

1904.5(b)(2) Are there situations where an injury or illness occurs in the work environment and is not considered work-related? Yes, an injury or illness occurring in the work environment that falls under one of the following exceptions is not work-related, and therefore is not recordable.

1904.5(b)(2)(v) The injury or illness is solely the result of an employee doing personal tasks (unrelated to their employment) at the establishment outside of the employee's assigned working hours.

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Question: 

A Honduran mobile off-shore drilling unit is operating within the US coastal waters. If an employee is injured and receives medical treatment, work restrictions or days away is it recordable?

Answer:

NO. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., (OSH Act) does not apply to the operators of foreign-flag Mobile Off-Shore Drilling Units (MODUs) operating in the United States territorial waters with respect to their crews.

Letter of Interpretation


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Question: 

On his lunch break, an employee is preparing his lunch. His sandwich is almost complete but he remembers he brought some frozen jalapenos from his garden. He places the plastic container with frozen jalapenos into the microwave, covers them with a paper towel, and begins to heat them. While heating, the jalapenos start the paper and plastic on fire and release plumes of smoke into the office space. In a panic, the employee grabs the container with his hands and tosses it into the sink to extinguish the fire. The capsaicin in the jalapenos and smoke from the plastic causes lung irritation in the employee and 3 other employees who are at their desks. A total of 4 employees including the employee preparing his own lunch receive oxygen from first responders who arrive on scene several minutes later. Is it recordable?

Answer:

YES and NO. The employee preparing his lunch received oxygen which is considered medical treatment. However, since he was injured preparing his own lunch, it is not considered work-related. The other 3 employees who received oxygen are not exempted and should be counted as medical treatment recordable injuries.

Letter of Interpretation The treatment with oxygen for smoke inhalation is considered medical treatment.

1904.5(a) Basic requirement. 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 §1904.5(b)(2) specifically applies


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