Dislocated Finger

Question: An employee dislocates a finger while working on the job. The onsite nurse puts the finger back in place and accompanies the employee to the occupational health clinic for x-rays. The x-ray reveals there is no fracture in the bone. The doctor prescribes over-the-counter ibuprofen and has the nurse tape the finger for the employee. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES. While the x-ray revealed no bone fracture, the meds prescribed were over-the-counter strength, using tape is considered a non-rigid means of support and the employee was returned to full duty, a healthcare professional had to set the finger back in place. Setting a finger is not listed as first aid and is therefore considered medical treatment beyond first aid and therefore recordable.

Letter of Interpretation: "A physician realigned the worker's thumb by reduction (i.e., manual joint manipulation)...reduction is not a treatment included on the first aid list under 1904.7(b)(5) and therefore it is considered medical treatment for OSHA recordkeeping purposes."

1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(A)
[First Aid is...] Using a non-prescription medication at nonprescription strength (for medications available in both prescription and non-prescription form, a recommendation by a physician or other licensed health care professional to use a non-prescription medication at prescription strength is considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes);

1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(F)
[First Aid is...] Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes)