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Q15 - Pre-existing Condition Aggravated by Job Duties

Question:  An employee reports wrist pain while on the job. A medical professional determines the employee was born with an abnormal bone condition in the wrist and opines that the job duties aggravated the condition. The medical professional prescribes a permanent job transfer along with over-the-counter ibuprofen. Company leadership seeks a second opinion from a different occupational health doctor and the second doctor’s report reflects the same as the first doctor; a permanent job transfer is required for the employee. The employee returns to work and is put into a training program for a new permanent job. Is it recordable?


Answer: YES. The employee’s job functions aggravated the pre-existing condition and so the injury is considered work-related. The medical professional prescribed a job transfer, making this injury into a recordable incident.  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 1904.7(b)(4) How do I record a work-related injury or illness that results in restricted work or job transfer? When an injury or illness involves restricted work or job transfer but does not involve death or days away from work, you must record the injury or illness on the OSHA 300 Log by placing a check mark in the space for job transfer or restriction and an entry of the number of restricted or transferred days in the restricted workdays column. 1904.7(b)(4)(xi) How do I count days of job transfer or restriction? You count days of job transfer or restriction in the same way you count days away from work, using § 1904.7(b)(3)(i) to (viii), above. The only difference is that, if you permanently assign the injured or ill employee to a job that has been modified or permanently changed in a manner that eliminates the routine functions the employee was restricted from performing, you may stop the day count when the modification or change is made permanent. You must count at least one day of restricted work or job transfer for such cases.


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