Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Lost Time

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Question
I have an employee who cut her finger which required 6 stitches. We put her on restrictive duties for one week so the finger could heal. She went back to the doctor to have the stitches taken out and the doctor said it wasn't heal properly and would not take the stitches out. The doctor also stated she could only work 3 hours a day for a week. Now that she can't work her scheduled 8 hours a days is this considered lost time? Thank you.

Answer
Subject: Lost Time

Question: I have an employee who cut her finger which required 6 stitches. We put her on restrictive duties for one week so the finger could heal. She went back to the doctor to have the stitches taken out and the doctor said it wasn't healing properly and would not take the stitches out. The doctor also stated she could only work 3 hours a day for a week. Now that she can't work her scheduled 8 hours a days is this considered lost time? Thank you.

Answer: Kevin, I am hesitant to answer this type of question anymore as this is one of the areas that OSHA loves to review and/or change. Perhaps if they do it often enough they might get it right (in my humble opinion).  I would let this go as a restricted work case as long as she was able to work at least a few hours per day. To be a lost work day case she could not work at all. If you want the full set of instructions you can go to

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/new-osha300form1-1-04.pdf

The following is from that document -

How do you decide if the case involved restricted work?
Restricted work activity occurs when, as the result of a work-related injury or illness, an employer or health care professional keeps, or recommends keeping, an employee from doing the routine functions of his or her job or from working the full workday that the employee would have been scheduled to work before the injury or illness occurred.

How do you count the number of days of restricted work activity or the number of days away from work?
Count the number of calendar days the employee was on restricted work activity or was away from work as a result of the recordable injury or illness. Do not count the day on which the injury or illness occurred in this number. Begin counting days from the day the incident occurs. If a single injury or illness involved both days away from work and days of restricted work activity, enter the total number of days for each. You may stop counting days of restricted work activity or days away from work once the total of either or the combination of both reaches 180 days.

This document will walk you through the process and provides a number of definitions. I hope this will answer your question and if I can be of 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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