April 05, 2022

OSHA, Travel Time & Recordable Injuries

Back in January, OSHA issued its second Letter of Interpretation addressing when an employee’s travel time outside of the “normal commute” is considered work time. For example, an employee travels to work and then back home at the start and end of the regular workday, respectively. The employee is then called to return to the workplace. In the second trip to work, the employee is injured in an accident. Is that an OSHA-recordable injury? OSHA’s answer is, “Yes.”

If you have employees on call, consider the above, as well as:

Consider workers’ compensation implications.  Would the same accident be compensable under workers’ compensation? Talk to your carrier if you are not self-insured.

Consider your payroll practices. Do you pay a non-exempt employee for the second trip as time worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act? Must you? The federal regulations‘ answer is, “It depends.”  Talk to your company’s legal counsel on all of these related matters.

OSHA’s earlier letter. In 2021, OSHA addressed two similar but different questions. These dealt with an employee’s first of several client visits in a day and is injured in the first travel from the employee’s home. The second dealt with the same scenario but after checking into a hotel, and then travels to a client site the next day.  Hint: This is a better answer for employers than the first.