Giant Squid

Giant Squid

Question: At the end of the workday, prior to clocking out, an employee hears screams for help coming from a nearby beach. He goes to investigate and sees a child and mother in shallow water and the child has tentacles wrapped around their legs. The employee runs to help and in the process receives a large gash on his forearm left by the squid. He wraps his arm and goes home. (The child and mother are mostly unharmed.) The next day, he decides to go to urgent care and receives a prescription for antibiotics and stitches. Is it recordable?

Answer: NO. The incident occurred outside normal work hours and outside of the work environment. Technically, as soon as the employee left the work environment at the end of the day, his commute had begun. The commute is a listed exception for recordkeeping. Punching in or out does not affect the determination of work-relatedness.

Letter of Interpretation ...OSHA has made it clear that injuries and illnesses that occur during an employee's normal commute to and from work are not considered work-related, and therefore not recordable. See, 66 Federal Register 5960. For purposes of OSHA recordkeeping, the employee's commute from home to work ends once he or she arrives at the work environment.

Letter of Interpretation For purposes of OSHA recordkeeping injuries and illnesses occurring in the work environment are considered work-related. Punching in and out with a time clock (or signing in and out) does not affect the outcome for determining work-relatedness.

1904.5(a) 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