Walking Normally

Walking Normally

Question: An employee was walking down the hall and remembered he left something behind in a meeting room. While pivoting on the tile floor, his knee cap went 90 degrees to the side with a pop. The employee received surgery and prescription medication. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES. Any activity that is not specifically excepted that occurs in the work environment can be considered a triggering "event" for OSHA recordkeeping purposes. This injury is work-related and the employee received medical treatment beyond first aid and should be recorded.

Letter of Interpretation: Under OSHA's recordkeeping system, normal body movements in the work environment, such as walking, bending down or sneezing, are "events" which trigger the presumption for work-relatedness if they are a discernible cause of an injury.

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.

1904.5(b)(1): What is the "work environment"? OSHA defines the work environment as "the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations, but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work."