Injured at Home During Conference Call

Question: An employee is working from home and attending a conference call on a cell phone. While participating on the call, he trips and falls down the stairs. As a result of the fall, he breaks multiple bones and is told by his doctor to take 2 weeks off of work. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES. The employee was in the work environment (home) during the normal workday when the incident occurred. The incident was not caused by something not work-related and therefore should be recorded on the OSHA log.

1904.5(b)(7): How do I decide if a case is work-related when the employee is working at home? Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is working at home, including work in a home office, will be considered work-related if the injury or illness occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of work rather than to the general home environment or setting. For example, if an employee drops a box of work documents and injures his or her foot, the case is considered work-related. If an employee's fingernail is punctured by a needle from a sewing machine used to perform garment work at home, becomes infected and requires medical treatment, the injury is considered work-related. If an employee is injured because he or she trips on the family dog while rushing to answer a work phone call, the case is not considered work-related. If an employee working at home is electrocuted because of faulty home wiring, the injury is not considered work-related.