Carving a Stick
Question: An employee is sitting outside at a worksite on their lunchbreak. Using their own folding knife, the begin carving a stick. The knife slips and injures their palm. They are taken to an emergency room and receive several stitches. Is it recordable?
Answer: YES. Breaks are considered part of a normal workday and the activity the employee was participating in, is not a listed exception from the geographical presumption of work-relatedness. Since stitches are considered medical treatment beyond first aid, this injury is recordable.
Under Section 1904.5(b)(2)(v), an injury or illness is not work-related if it 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. In order for this exception to apply, the case must meet both of the stated conditions [i.e., the injury or illness must (1) be solely the result of the employee doing personal tasks (unrelated to their employment), and (2) occur outside of the employee's assigned working hours]. [...] Lunch breaks are considered assigned working hours for injury and illness recordkeeping purposes.
See Letter of Interpretation linked below.