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OSHA interprets doctor recommendations as treatment.

In a recent Interpretation Letter, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded to a question about medical treatment beyond first aid for recordkeeping purposes. The incident involved an employee who experienced wrist pain after working at a computer. Before being seen at the occupational health clinic, the employee bought and used a rigid wrist brace. The doctor said the brace was not necessary but recommended the employee continue to wear it if it was relieving the pain.

In response to the employer question, OSHA stated that a provision of the recordkeeping rule provides that the use of orthopedic devices designed to immobilize parts of the body, such as wrist braces with rigid stays, are considered medical treatment beyond first aid. Although self-treatment or self-medication by an employee generally does not constitute medical treatment, the recordkeeping criteria are met if a treatment is "directed or recommended by the employer or a health care professional." In this situation, OSHA determined that the doctor's recommendation constituted a treatment recommendation by a health care professional and, therefore, the injury was a recordable injury.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office, 202/842-4864,

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Title Annotation:ON THE HILL
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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