Do Personal Tasks That Lead To Accidents Need To Be Listed On OSHA 300 Log?

Why your OSHA 300 log with accidents that occur to employees while on their work breaks, need to be accurate.

Considering that in 2019, OSHA initial violations averaged $4,237. And, initial Recordkeeping violations averaged $3,878 (up from 2017 and 2018), with a maximum assessed fine of $132,598 for a repeat violation! It would make sense to be sure your OSHA Logs are in order.

Let’s consider an everyday scenario to further explore why this is so important.

How much risk does your company take on if an employee left your building during his lunch break and spent the time in his company truck?

Very little, you would think.

But – what if your good employee took his lunch break in his company truck, ate his lunch, listening to music and engaged in a personal task for the remainder of his break.  He needed to sharpen his pencil for a quick note and took out his pen-knife.  He remembered that his knife was a bit dull, so he went to his tool kit and retrieved his sharpening stone.  He sharpened his knife but cut his thumb and it began to bleed.  He was unable to control the bleeding so he called his supervisor and was taken to the emergency room for a couple of stitches and a tetanus shot.  Does this injury need to be recorded on the employers’ OSHA 300 log, for employers with over 10 employees?

Because there is an exception to the medical treatment rule that says preventative tetanus immunizations do not render the injury OSHA recordable, but getting stitches is beyond first aid and therefore defines the injury as recordable.  However, the injury happened while the employee was engaged in a personal task.  Employees can go to a retail store that they work at as a customer during off-work hours and if injured it is not recordable, right?

Does our knife-sharpening injury during a lunch break need to be recorded on an OSHA log?

The answer is yes!

This is solely because it was during work hours.  This, however, opens up a conflict between what the employer should allow employees to do during their work breaks.  Employers may want to rethink permitting employees to engage in risky activities on their work breaks.

For more information, see these Standard OSHA Interpretations, references and regulations.

We offer risk assessments and training courses to make sure your company is in compliance and avoid OSHA fines.

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