Milk Crate Challenge
Question: On their lunch breaks, warehouse employees set up a milk crate challenge. The challenge involves stacking milk crates to create a staircase up and down and then trying to balance your way across it. The first employee to attempt is an office employee, who falls onto the concrete floor. An x-ray shows a fractured collar bone, but no medical treatment, restricted duties or days away are recommended by the doctor. Is it recordable?
Answer: YES. A fractured bone is considered a significant injury and must be recorded - even if no medical treatment, restricted work or days away occurs. Lunch breaks are considered assigned working hours for injury and illness recordkeeping purposes.
1904.7(b)(7) OSHA believes that cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones, and punctured eardrums are generally considered significant injuries and illnesses, and must be recorded at the initial diagnosis even if medical treatment or work restrictions are not recommended, or are postponed, in a particular case.
Letter of Interpretation See, OSHA’s March 10, 2005 letter of interpretation to Milagros Flores. Lunch breaks are considered assigned working hours for injury and illness recordkeeping purposes. See November 15, 2010 letter of interpretation to Kenneth Colonna; February 16, 2010 letter to Scott Hayes. OSHA’s definition of assigned working hours means “those hours the employee is actually expected to work, including overtime.” See FAQ 5-4.
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].