In a BLR webinar entitled "OSHA Recordkeeping: What’s Recordable and What’s Not," Adele L. Abrams, Esq., an attorney and nationally recognized expert on occupational safety and health, explained the procedure for determining the recordable number of days lost due to a work-related illness or injury under OSHA’s recordkeeping standard.
If an employee experiences a work-related illness or injury that meets the occupational safety and health recording criteria, it must be correctly recorded on the OSHA log.
For recording accuracy, it is important to be aware of the following guidelines:
- If the employee is out for an extended period of time, you must enter an estimate of the days that the employee will be away. If the actual number of days lost is different, remember to update the day count when the actual number of days is known.
- The count starts on the day following the occurrence of the illness or injury.
- Enter the number of calendar days away recommended by the physician or health care professional even if the employee does not follow the recommendation! – Even if the injured individual resumes their regular duty earlier than recommended, it is the physician determination that must be recorded.
- You must count the number of calendar days the employee was unable to work as a result of the injury or illness, regardless of whether or not the employee was scheduled to work on those day(s). Weekend days, holidays, vacation days or other days off are included in the total number of days recorded.
- The number of recordable days-away is capped at 180 days. If the employee is away from the job longer than six months, you would only put down 180 days lost.
- If during the time away from duty, the employee leaves your company for some reason unrelated to the injury or illness, such as retirement, a plant closing, or to take another job, you may stop counting days away from work as soon as the employment relationship actually ends.
Being certain that these principles are followed will ensure accurate recording of lost-workdays due to illness or injury.
Adele L. Abrams, Esq., is a Certified Mine Safety Professional and a practicing attorney specializing in Safety Law. She is a Department of Labor approved trainer, a trained mediator, and provides safety and health training and consultation services. She may be contacted at (www.safety-law.com)
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