In a new letter of interpretation, OSHA has confirmed that injuries to employees sustained at off-site team-building events are recordable on OSHA logs, so long as the injuries also meet other general recording criteria (such as requiring medical treatment beyond first aid). Employers are encouraged to review their recordkeeping practices to ensure that they are complying with this interpretation of OSHA’s recordkeeping rule.
OSHA was asked whether an injury incurred while an employee was go-cart racing at an off-site team-building activity was “work-related” under OSHA’s rule. In the scenario presented to OSHA, employees were not required to participate in the go-cart racing or other team building events. However, they were required to attend an off-site meeting and luncheon. In OSHA’s view, the employee was at the go-cart facility as a condition of employment and thus was “in the work environment.” Any injury or illness that arises is therefore presumed to be work-related in the view of the Agency.
Employers often hold team-building events at locations outside the workplace. If injuries occur during these events, employers must record them on their OSHA logs, assuming the injuries meet other recordability criteria.
With OSHA developing a National Emphasis Program on recordkeeping, now is the time for employers to review their recordkeeping procedures and logs to ensure they are fully compliant.