Can Injuries In Company Parking Lots be OSHA Recordables?
Case of the Auto Accident in an Employee Parking Lot
Can Injuries in Company Parking Lots be OSHA Recordable – Scenario 1: Employee A drives to work, parks her car in the company parking lot and is walking across the lot when she is struck by a car driven by employee B, who is commuting to work. Both employees are seriously injured in the accident. Is either case work-related?
Response: Neither employee’s injuries are recordable. While the employee parking lot is part of the work environment under section 1904.5, injuries occurring there are not work-related if they meet the exception in section 1904.5(b)(2)(vii). Section 1904.5(b)(2)(vii) excepts injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents occurring on the company parking lot while the employee is commuting to and from work. In the case in question, both employees’ injuries resulted from a motor vehicle accident in the company parking lot while the employees were commuting. Accordingly, the exception applies.
Case of the Employee Falling Out of His Car in a Company Owned Parking Lot
Can Injuries in Company Parking Lots be OSHA Recordable – Scenario 2: Employee C commutes from home to work and parks his personally-owned vehicles in the company controlled parking lot. The employee opened the driver side door and started to exit his car when he caught his right foot on the raised door threshold. The employee subsequently fell onto the parking lot surface and sustained a right knee cap injury that required medical treatment.
Response: Section 1904.5(a) provides that an injury or illness must be considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the injury or illness or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Section 1904.5(b)(1) defines the work environment as the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. Work relatedness is presumed under Part 1904 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 OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, company parking lots and company access roads are included within the definition of “establishment.” (See the preamble to the January 19, 2001 final rule revising OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, 66 Federal Register 6076, and OSHA’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 5-10 in section 1904.5 Determination of Work-relatedness at Detailed Guidance of OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rule.
In scenario 2, while the employee sustained injuries in the company parking lot, the case did not involved a motor vehicle accident. Instead, the employee was injured when he fell out of his parked vehicle and struck the parking lot surface (work environment). As a result, this case does not meet the exception in Section 1904.5(b)(2)(vii), and, therefore, must be recorded on the establishment’s log, if it meets the other recording criteria listed in the regulation (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work, etc.).
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