Q&A, Recordkeeping

Q&A: Rigid Splints Recordable?

Recently, one of our subscribers asked the following question:

Today, an employee stopped in our medical department. The employee said that she was at her doctor for a regular appointment and then brought up concerns with numbness in her hands at night due to work. While her hands were not the initial reason for the visit, the doctor told her to order rigid splints off Amazon to wear at night only. The doctor did not write a prescription for or issue rigid splints directly. Would this be recordable?

This was our response:

This is a recordable incident. Rigid splints are, under 29 CFR 1904.7(b)(5)(ii)(F), considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes. The splints were recommended by a physician, which under 29 CFR 1904.7(b)(5)(v), appears to be enough, even if they were not reduced to writing—it is likely that the physician did write the recommendation in his medical records, and that would likely be enough.

The more difficult question might be work-relatedness. You might require that the worker see your company physician to determine work-relatedness.