This is the Q&A portion from a webinar we hosted a while ago with HUB International entitled “MIOSHA: How to Report and Record Occupational Illnesses and Injuries” with Phil Casto. Above is the webinar and below is the transcript.
Q: In the grocery store example, it would be best to ensure an employee is off the clock when they do their shopping, correct?
A: This would be absolutely correct—and by doing so you also aren't paying them to do their shopping, so that would be kind of a win/win; you wouldn't have to pay them to do their shopping, and if they were to get hurt, that injury wouldn't be on your OSHA recordable log because they would be at the workplace as a member of the general public.
Q: What if I slip on ice walking from my car to the building on my way to work?
A: If you slip on ice from the car to the building on your way to work, that is an OSHA recordable injury because it doesn't qualify for the motorized vehicle exception as part of your commute into work. Once you get into the work parking lot and you are walking from your vehicle into the actual building, that exception no longer applies even though that employee hasn't clocked in yet or started the work for the day. The fact that he's there in the work environment as a condition of his work at that time, makes that an OSHA recordable.
Q: Would not also a needle poke be added to the list of first-aid situations? You only need to clean and put band-aid on a cut, but told you’re to report it anyways.
A: A needle stick would always be a OSHA reportable injury. So any needle sticks are always OSHA recordables because of the possibility of the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Even if there isn't a blood borne pathogen spread due to subsequent testing, the fact that there was an exposure makes it recordable.
Q: If you have multiple branches or locations, do you need to have the OSHA 300A hung in all locations?
A: You need to have it hung where employees are in common gathering spaces. If most of your employees all report to the shop and you have a corporate office in an office building somewhere, you would need to have it in both locations. If you have 40 different job sites or your employees maybe go straight from home to a job site, and then they only work there for a couple hours and then go somewhere else, you don't have to have it everywhere, but you have to have it in common gathering locations where your employees could see it and access it if they so choose to.
Q: Can you give more details on the hearing shift?
A: Basically, with the hearing shift, it's part of the hearing conservation program. If your workplace has noise levels above a certain level, generally 85 decibels is where the hearing conservation program begins implementation. What you are going to have to do is what's considered called a baseline audio-gram, and it determines the individual's hearing capacity and then at a later date (or due to the annual audio-grams that come every year after that that come as part of your hearing conservation program), if the employee has more than a 10 decibel shift (averaged over certain hearing thresholds) then that employee is said to have what's called work-related hearing loss. There is some more information on that.
They do adjust that baseline based on the natural loss of hearing due to age (called Presbycusis) because as we age, we all lose some of our hearing. There is an adjustment to that though I personally am not qualified to speak on exactly how that works. I'm familiar with the OSHA regulations regarding to it, but you need an ornithologist and an eyes, nose, ears, throat doctor to really give you a better description as to exactly how your hearing threshold works and how it changes. I'm more familiar with the OSHA regulations applied to it.
I did want to give you guys one more additional bit of information. There is some new proposed rule-making at OSHA. It announced a proposed new rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The proposed rule is going to require all establishments that are already currently required to keep records and have more than 250 employees to submit their OSHA logs electronically to OSHA quarterly. So once every three months, if you've got more than 250 employees, you may be required if the rule passes but it's looking like it most likely will or at least parts of it will—what they are saying is that (and it's not in effect, it won't be in effect for another year or so) but when it does go into effect and you've got more than 250 employees, you'll be required to submit your OSHA logs electronically every quarter. If you've got 20 employees or more, you will be required to submit them annually electronically. Currently, most workplaces are not required to submit their injury and illness logs. You are only required to submit if it's requested to do so by OSHA or NIOSH. Most places of employment keep the logs as they are required to by law but they don't actually submit that to the federal government because they haven't been specifically requested to.
Q: What if the employee is waiting for his shift to start and starts to have heart issues—is that recordable? Again, the shift has not started.
A: That one I would probably need a little bit more information. He is in the work environment, so if he is waiting for his shift to start and let's say he just climbs a set of stairs to get to work, he's at work, he's climbed the set of stairs, and due that physical activity, he had heart problems, that would be a recordable injury because he's there for the purpose of work. If he's waiting for his shift to start, if something from the work aggravating that, then I would say yes, that is an OSHA recordable. If he had a heart issue because he had heart surgery last month and it was not at all related to his work environment, and now he just happened to be there, I would need some more information then it would not be recordable but I can't quite tell just from that. If you'd like to send me an email with some more details, I'd be glad to answer that question in more detail.
Q: If the law passes, would you need to report even if you had no injuries?
A: That's a good question, and I'm going to say most likely yes. (I don't have that information in front of me and I don't have the full volumes of the law that's going to be passed, but currently you still have to maintain records even if you have no injuries.) You must certify that you've had no injuries so I would most likely yes—yes you have to report that you had no injuries and that's how they would still use the information to say what the average illness/injury rates because of course they've still go to compute into there all the places of employment that did not have injuries.