Ask the Expert, Recordkeeping

Ask the Expert: Allergic Reaction Recordability

In our latest installment of Ask the Expert, brought to you by the team of industry experts at EHS Hero®, we look at a recent question from a subscriber asking about if an allergic reaction to a required TB test is recordable. See what the experts had to say.

Q: Is an allergic reaction to a TB test for the shot required for work considered OSHA recordable?

If the allergic reaction to the TB test resulted in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, then it would be considered work-related and recordable. If none of these outcomes occurred, it would not be a recordable case.

For the purposes of injury and illness recordkeeping, first aid is defined to include only the following treatments:

  • Using a nonprescription medication at nonprescription strength
  • Administering tetanus immunizations
  • Cleaning, flushing, or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin
  • Using wound coverings such as Band-Aids, gauze pads, etc.; or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips
  • Using hot or cold therapy
  • Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.
  • Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim
  • Drilling of a fingernail or toenail to relieve pressure, or draining fluid from a blister
  • Using eye patches
  • Removing foreign bodies from the eye using only irrigation or a cotton swab
  • Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs, or other simple means
  • Using finger guards
  • Using massages
  • Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress

If the allergic reaction was treated using one of the methods listed above (for example, using an over-the-counter cream or antihistamine for a skin rash), it would be a first-aid case, which is not recordable. However, if a treatment not on the above list was administered for the allergic reaction, it would be considered a case requiring medical treatment, which is recordable. For example, OSHA considers the use of Epi Pens to be recordable medical treatment.