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Q147 - Light Restrictions
A mechanic is injured and receives work restrictions so the employer has him complete his normal annual online training for the duration of the work restrictions. Since the training is part of his normal duties (they are self-directed and must be completed annually), is it recordable?
YES. OSHA language states if the employee has any restrictions to his normal job duties (what the employees does at least once per week) then it should be counted as restricted work. Even though the employee could complete normal office-based work/training during the time of the restriction, that doesn't change the fact that the doctor issues restriction that affected his normal job duties.
If you or a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends a work restriction, is the injury or illness automatically recordable as a "restricted work" case? No, a recommended work restriction is recordable only if it affects one or more of the employee's routine job functions. To determine whether this is the case, you must evaluate the restriction in light of the routine functions of the injured or ill employee's job. If the restriction from you or the physician or other licensed health care professional keeps the employee from performing one or more of his or her routine job functions, or from working the full workday the injured or ill employee would otherwise have worked, the employee's work has been restricted and you must record the case.
How do I handle vague restrictions from a physician or other licensed health care professional, such as that the employee engage only in "light duty" or "take it easy for a week"? If you are not clear about the physician or other licensed health care professional's recommendation, you may ask that person whether the employee can do all of his or her routine job functions and work all of his or her normally assigned work shift. If the answer to both of these questions is "Yes," then the case does not involve a work restriction and does not have to be recorded as such. If the answer to one or both of these questions is "No," the case involves restricted work and must be recorded as a restricted work case. If you are unable to obtain this additional information from the physician or other licensed health care professional who recommended the restriction, record the injury or illness as a case involving restricted work.