Fainting at the sight of blood constitutes a recordable case

Drop_of_Blood

According to OSHA, if one of your employees faints at the sight of blood, it’s a recordable incident. Here’s what they say on their website about the issue:

Scenario: An employee scratched his index finger on a vinyl saw clamp at work. He immediately began walking to the onsite first aid station to obtain a Band-Aid. On the way, the injured employee met a co-worker who told him that he had a Band-Aid in his pocket. As the co-worker began to apply the Band-Aid, the injured employee looked at his finger where there was a small amount of blood on the skin adjacent to the nail bed. The worker immediately became light headed and fainted. The injured worker did not incur any additional injury or treatment. When he regained consciousness, the employee indicated that he fainted because he cannot tolerate seeing blood.

Question: Is this a recordable case on the OSHA Log of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses?

Response: Section 1904.5(a) states, “[the employer] must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception in Section 1904.5(b)(2) specifically applies.” Under this language, a case is presumed work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment is a discernible cause of the injury or illness or of a significant aggravation to a pre-existing condition. The work event or exposure need only be one of the discernable causes; it need not be the sole or predominant cause.

In order to be a recordable event, a loss of consciousness must be the result of a work-related event or exposure. Loss of consciousness is no different, in this respect, from any other injury or illness. The exception to the presumption of work-relatedness in section 1904.5(b)(2)(ii) allows an employer to exclude cases that involve signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside the work environment. This exception allows employers to exclude cases where a loss of consciousness is due solely to a personal health condition, such as epilepsy, diabetes, or narcolepsy. See, the January 19, 2001, preamble to the final rule revising OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation at 66 FR 5994.

Read all the details on the OSHA response page.

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