Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Lost Time Injury?

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QUESTION: I had an employee who slipped which resulted in a knee and hamstring strain. He went to the Dr. but it did not result in a recordable incident (OTC meds only)at this time. Six weeks later as the knee was still troubling him he received an MRI and was diagnosed with a small meniscus tear. He is scheduled for out-patient surgery and will return to work the day following surgery. Should the surgery day result in a 'lost work day'?

ANSWER: Subject: Lost Time Injury?

Question: I had an employee who slipped which resulted in a knee and hamstring strain. He went to the Dr. but it did not result in a recordable incident (OTC meds only) at this time. Six weeks later as the knee was still troubling him he received an MRI and was diagnosed with a small meniscus tear. He is scheduled for out-patient surgery and will return to work the day following surgery. Should the surgery day result in a 'lost work day”?

Answer: Angie, if the day missed is the result of the incident at work (the decision of the physician) the incident is both recordable and a lost time incident. I suspect that the answer of the physician will be yes unless the employee can relate the situation to an off-the-job incident such as a slip on a wet walkway at home. So it will be up to the employee and doctor to make the final decision. Sorry I can’t help with your dilemma as I know how frustrating a situation like this can be, If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to ask,

Michael Brown, CSP Retired


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Michael. I know it would be a recordable but one thing I did not mention is the employee came to work and worked several hours before leaving for the surgery. The Dr. wrote a return to work the following day with restrictions that fit within his normal job duties. I was wondering if because he came to work the day of the surgery would it be necessary to count the day of the surgery as a 'lost time workday'?
Thank You!

Answer
Subject: Lost Time Injury?

Question: Thank you Michael. I know it would be a recordable but one thing I did not mention is the employee came to work and worked several hours before leaving for the surgery. The Dr. wrote a return to work the following day with restrictions that fit within his normal job duties. I was wondering if because he came to work the day of the surgery would it be necessary to count the day of the surgery as a 'lost time workday'? Thank You!

Answer: Angie, I cannot ethically give you the answer you want. From a strict interpretation the incident is a “lost time” There are individuals who would look at the situation from the standpoint of all the factors – safety record, chances of an inspection and record review, etc. and decide to take a liberal interpretation that since a few hours were worked the day was not “lost” and would not be recorded or counted as such. In the event of a review at some future date the day might end up having to be counted. “Sorry, I goofed!” Some persons would take that approach but it is not one I can recommend. I hope that provides some approaches you can think about. If I can be of any further assistance, please feel free to ask.

Michael Brown, CSP Retired

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Mike Brown CSP Retired

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I specialize in the professional management of occupational safety and health as well as workers` compensation to reduce losses and improve production and address related issues through a comprehensive approach by senior management using proven principals.I worked for over twenty (20) years in the management of occupational safety, health and workers` compensation and safety training (Retired from employment in 1996 due to a stroke, which prevented the extensive travel required).

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