Whenever an accident or incident occurs at work, it needs to be determined whether it can be handled with simple first aid, or if it needs to be properly recorded under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) requirements. Knowing the definition of and the difference between first aid and reportable injuries can help you improve the accuracy of your OSHA logs and reduce over-reporting.
A reportable injury is anything that happens out of the ordinary in a facility. Specifically, unplanned events or situations that result in, or have the potential to result in injury, ill health, damage, loss of consciousness, restricted work, or loss. OSHA defines recordable injuries and incidents as any work-related:
All employers are required to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. A fatality must be reported within 8 hours and an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss must be reported within 24 hours.
Contrary to a reportable injury, first aid refers to one-time, short-term medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs. Injuries that do not require medical treatment beyond first aid are generally not documented. OSHA defines first aid required incidents to include the following:
Employers must evaluate their first aid response and preparedness programs based not only on OSHA compliance, but also on the needs of their workplace and employees. Anything that falls under the OSHA requirements of first aid do not need to be recorded or reported.
It is imperative that all employers, regardless of industry, ensure that medical personnel are readily available for advice and consultation in case of emergency, that a person or persons on site are trained in basic first aid, and that OSHA-approved first aid supplies and/or kits are easily accessible. Further, facilities for emergency drenching or flushing of the eyes and body must be present within work areas where a worker’s eyes or body may be exposed to harmful or corrosive materials. If you have any questions or concerns about which type of injuries are categorized as first aid or reportable under the OSHA laws and standards, the doctors and staff at Trinity Occupational Health are happy to help.
Important Notice: If your emergency occurs after regular business hours, please visit your nearest emergency room. For life threatening injury or illness, call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.