Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1904.5(b)(2); 1904.7(b)(5); 1904.7(b)(7)

March 31, 2009

Mr. Victor E. Brame
HSE Engineer
Honeywell Analytics, Inc.
405 Barclay Boulevard
Lincolnshire, IL 60069

Dear Mr. Brame:

Thank you for your October 20, 2008 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding the Recordkeeping regulation contained in 29 CFR Part 1904 - Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. In an effort to provide you with prompt and accurate responses, we developed, and continue to refine a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). In addition, we maintain a log of Letters of Interpretation (LOI) on the OSHA Recordkeeping website.

Specifically, you requested guidance from OSHA on a case involving "a self-inflicted injury."

Scenario: After receiving the announcement his workplace was scheduled to be downsized, an employee became upset and punched a cabinet with his right hand. The employee received first aid (because his hand was bleeding) and then was accompanied to the hospital. There they discovered that he had broken the 5th metacarpus. They gave him the appropriate care and he now has a plaster cast on his hand.

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 work