Q79 - Horseplay

Question:  In a warehouse, during a lunch break, two employees are participating in an online viral challenge where a person drops a piece of paper from the top of a flight of stairs and races down the stairs in time to catch the paper. The first employee is barely able to catch the paper in time. The second employee feels pressured to accomplish the challenge and ends up tripping while rushing down the stairs too quickly. He injures multiple body parts and ends up with bruises, cuts, broken bones and a concussion. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES. The injury is considered work-related because it occurred on company property during the workday and the injuries (broken bones) are severe enough to trigger recordability. Also, lunch is considered part of the normal workday and is not included in the list of exceptions for recordkeeping purposes.  Letter of Interpretation: This case must be recorded because it does not meet the exception to work-relatedness in Section 1904.5(b)(2)(v) for injuries that occur in the work environment but are solely due to personal tasks. For the "personal tasks" exception to apply, 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. OSHA clarified in a January 15, 2004 letter of interpretation that Section 1904.5(b)(2)(v) does not apply to injuries and illnesses that occur during breaks in the normal work schedule. Here, the exception does not apply because the injury occurred during the employee's lunch break 1904.7(b)(7) What is a "significant" diagnosed injury or illness that is recordable under the general criteria even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness? Work-related cases involving cancer, chronic irreversible disease, a fractured or cracked bone, or a punctured eardrum must always be recorded under the general criteria at the time of diagnosis by a physician or other licensed health care professional.

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