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Employee Refuses Medical Treatment

An employee reports an injury at work and refuses medical treatment but asks and is approved to go home for the remainder of their shift. The next day the employee calls in saying they are hurting too much to work and, again refusing medical treatment, does not report for work. The employee then returns to work the following day with no apparent effects from their injury. Is this an OSHA Recordable Injury?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires covered employers to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. The information is necessary in order for employers, employees, and OSHA to evaluate the safety of a workplace, understand hazards, and implement worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards.

Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. Partially exempt industries include establishments in specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industries. Even establishments exempt from preparing and maintaining records must still report fatalities to OSHA.

Covered employers must record the following:
• All work-related fatalities;
• All work-related injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, loss of consciousness or medical treatment beyond first aid; and
• Significant work-related injuries or illnesses diagnoses by a physician or other licensed health care professional, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.

Per OSHA, injuries include cases such as, but not limited to, a cut, fracture, sprain, or amputation. Illnesses include both acute and chronic illnesses, such as, but not limited to, a skin disease (i.e. contact dermatitis), respiratory disorder (i.e. occupational asthma, pneumoconiosis), or poisoning (i.e. lead poisoning, solvent intoxication).

OSHA defines work-related injuries as illnesses and fatalities in which an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the condition. Additionally, it is considered a work-related injury or illness if an event or exposure in the work environment significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.

An injury or illness that involves one or more days away from work must be recorded. Even though the employee in question refused medical treatment, he was away from work for one day due to a work-related injury or illness; thus, making the incident an OSHA recordable injury or illness.


This entry was posted on Monday, June 16th, 2014 at 12:31 pm and is filed under
Workplace Health & Safety.
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