OSHA has specific guidelines when it comes to recording workplace injuries and illnesses on its Form 300. Employers in New Jersey should know that while these guidelines are clear, there are many distinctions to keep in mind.
To start with the obvious, OSHA requires all work-related fatalities to be reported within eight hours. Also, any work-related diagnosis that a medical professional makes of an injury or illness must be recorded. Injuries or illnesses that lead to loss of consciousness, time off work, a transfer to a different job or restrictions on the work victims are currently doing fall under OSHA record-keeping requirement as well.
All injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid must be recorded, and this is where complications arise. First aid encompasses the use of non-prescription medications at non-prescription strength; the cleaning, soaking and bandaging of wounds; the use of non-rigid devices for support; the use of splints and slings; and the removal of objects from the eye using simple means like water or tweezers.
However, a medical professional may recommend a non-prescription medication at prescription strength, in which case one is speaking of medical treatment. Medical treatment encompasses the use of wound-closing devices like sutures and staples, the use of rigid stays to immobilize parts of the body and any kind of physical therapy.
Good record-keeping practices are important for businesses, and the records themselves may help make the filing of a workers’ compensation claim go more smoothly. Victims unsure of how to proceed with a claim may want legal assistance. Even after filing the claim, victims may face opposition from their employer, especially if there is reason to believe that victims themselves were to blame for their own injuries. With a lawyer, victims may mount an appeal. The lawyer may also explain when one can seek a settlement.