Uncertain if Work-Related

Question:
An employee is injured at work and neither the doctor nor the employee can, with certainty, attribute the injury to the job or identify a hazard in the work environment. The employee receives a prescription. Is it recordable?

Answer:
YES, it is recordable. OSHA regulations operate under a presumption of work-relatedness for any incident that occurs in the work environment. For this reason, it would be incorrect to start under the presumption the incident is not work-related even if there is no evidence that it is. The correct approach is to presume work-relatedness and then, if you can, overcome the presumption with evidence to the contrary. The best way to overcome the presumption is to have a medical professional review the evidence and make a determination of work-relatedness. If the doctor states that the incident is in no way related to work, then it can be considered not work-related and not recordable.

1904.5(a) Basic requirement. 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