Q51 - Hand Sanitizer Burn

Question: 

During a lunch break, an employee uses hand sanitizer and then proceeds to light up a cigarette. As she lights her cigarette, her hand suddenly catches fire due the alcohol flammability in the hand sanitizer. The incident results in a second degree burn that requires prescribed antibiotic ointment and bandaging from a doctor. Is it recordable?

Answer:

YES. Breaks are considered part of the normal workday and considered to be work-related according to OSHA.

Letter of Interpretation

Under Section 1904.5(b)(2)(v), an injury or illness is not work-related if it is solely the result of an employee doing personal tasks (unrelated to their employment) at the establishment outside of the employee's assigned working hours.  In order for this exception to apply, the case must meet both of the stated conditions [i.e., 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]. [...] Lunch breaks are considered assigned working hours for injury and illness recordkeeping purposes. 

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