Q35 - Sprained Ankle

Question: 

An employee trips over a pallet and suffers a sprained ankle at work. A doctor prescribes ice treatment twice per day, over-the-counter strength ibuprofen, and then wraps the ankle in an Ace Bandage wrap. The employee is returned to work full duty and does not miss any time. Is it recordable?

Answer:

NO. OSHA considers casts or immobilization with rigid stays to be medical treatment beyond First Aid. Ace Bandage style wrapping does not immobilize and OSHA considers it as First Aid Treatment.  The ibuprofen was over-the-counter strength and the employee was returned to full duty without missing any time.

1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(F) , Letter of Interpretation

1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(F) [first aid means] Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes)

Letter of Interpretation While the use of casts, splints or orthopedic devices designed to immobilize a body part is considered medical treatment for OSHA recordkeeping purposes, wraps or non-constraining devices such as wristlets or elastic bandages are generally considered first aid treatment (See Recordkeeping Guidelines, Page 43). Thus, use of the ACE® bandage, a brand name for "All Cotton Elastic" by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), is considered first aid for OSHA recordkeeping purposes.

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