OSHA Emphasis on Ergonomic Injuries Increases

Mathew Moldawer
Mathew Moldawer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a memorandum to the public aligned to their emphasis program to protect warehouse workers.  The guidance addresses a common concern for employers: whether an injury should be reported.

Some injuries, such as death or loss of consciousness are clear.  Others, such as whether treatment falls within the definition of “first aid,” is unclear.  First aid is defined in the regulation.  But that is not without nuance.   

For instance, massages generally are within the definition of first aid. Physical therapy or chiropractic treatment, however, are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes.  As another example, exercise and stretching are not listed as first aid and may provide the basis for an injury to be reportable if it is ordered to treat a specific work-related injury or illness.  But, if the exercising and stretching are merely precautionary (such as with a workplace wellness program promotion), without a work-related injury, there is no need to report.

The requirement to report an injury is an important one, and the line as to whether an injury should be reported is not always clear.  Consultation with an experienced OSHA attorney, such as those with Kollman & Saucier, should be undertaken to ensure compliance with any OSHA concerns.

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