Q6 - Simply Climbing Stairs

Question:  The employee was walking up the stairs at work and felt a snap in their leg. The employee was not carrying anything work-related and was doing nothing more than walking up the stairs. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES, probably. It is definitely work-related. It would be recordable if medical treatment, restricted work or lost time occurred. OSHA operates under a presumption of work-relatedness for any incident that occurs in the work environment. The work environment means anywhere the employee is as a condition of their employment. Climbing stairs is considered a part of a normal workday and is not listed as an exception under the OSHA recordkeeping guidelines. You could try to have a doctor make a determination of work-relatedness but if the workplace contributed to the injury in any way (even if not the sole or predominate cause) then it would still be recordable.   1904.5(a), 66 Federal Register at 5946, 5959 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.

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