Many employers in California have trouble determining when a workplace injury or illness should be recorded on OSHA’s log, called the Form 300. OSHA does have clear standards, though, and these even cover questions like which employers are exempt from the regulations and how employers are to report serious injuries and fatalities.
Regarding the question of which injuries must be recorded, OSHA first of all says that any injuries that require medical treatment beyond first aid apply. Cleaning surface wounds and bandaging them, using non-prescription medications, using hot or cold therapy, draining fluid from a blister, using non-rigid back belts for support: All of this falls under first aid. However, there are distinctions to make.
For example, while tetanus immunizations are considered first aid, other immunizations, like those for rabies, qualify as medical treatment. Sutures and other means for closing wounds make a treatment medical in nature. Using a non-prescription medication at prescription strength according to a doctor’s recommendation makes it medical treatment.
Also, any injury or illness that’s serious must be recorded. This includes any injuries leading to the victim losing consciousness, taking time off work, being transferred or having restrictions placed on work. Moreover, employers must not report any and every injury “just in case.” This also violates OSHA regulations and makes an OSHA inspection more likely.
Employees who are injured on the job, for their part, may receive benefits under workers’ compensation law. These benefits will cover a portion of their lost wages and reimburse them for all medical costs, including treatment and prescription costs and even the cost of travel to and from the hospital. They are not guaranteed the benefits, though, since employers may attempt to deny them. For this reason victims may consider speaking with an attorney.