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Q172 - Wheelchair Transition


An employee who is paralyzed from the waist down parks in the company parking lot at the start of the day. While transitioning from his modified van (that allows him to drive) to his wheelchair, he pulls a muscle and is ultimately prescribed muscle relaxers. It is recordable? 


YES. The employee had ended his commute when he transitioned into the wheelchair on the company's parking lot. Prescription medication is considered medical treatment beyond first aid. 

Letter of Interpretation: OSHA has made it clear that injuries and illnesses that occur during an employee's normal commute to and from work are not considered work-related, and therefore not recordable. See, 66 Federal Register 5960. For purposes of OSHA recordkeeping, the employee's commute from home to work ends once he or she arrives at the work environment or when he or she starts traveling "in the interest of the employer." Additionally, Section 1904.46 provides that company parking lots and company access roads are included within the definition of "establishment."

1904.7(a)Basic requirement. You must consider an injury or illness to meet the general recording criteria, and therefore to be recordable, if it results in any of the following: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness. You must also consider a case to meet the general recording criteria if it involves a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, 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.

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