OARS - Medical Treatment (Definition for Supervisors)

Supervisors must ask employees enough to determine the level of medical treatment!


How do I record an injury or illness that involves medical treatment beyond first aid?

If a work-related injury or illness results in medical treatment beyond first aid, you must record it on the OSHA 300 Recordables form. If the injury or illness did not involve death, one or more days away from work, one or more days of restricted work, or one or more days of job transfer, you enter a Yes for cases where the employee received medical treatment but remained at work and was not transferred or restricted.


What is the definition of medical treatment?

"Medical Treatment" means the management and care of a patient to combat disease or disorder. For this reporting purpose, medical treatment does not include:

  • Visits to a physician or other licensed health care professional solely for observation or counseling;
  • The conduct of diagnostic procedures, such as x-rays and blood tests, including the administration of prescription medications used solely for diagnostic purposes (e.g., eye drops to dilate pupils);
    OR
  • "First aid" as defined in the following FAQ.

What is "first aid"?

For the purposes of recording, "first aid" means the following:

  • Using a non-prescription medication at nonprescription strength (for medications available in both prescription and non-prescription form, a recommendation by a physician or other licensed health care professional to use a non-prescription medication at prescription strength is considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes);
  • Administering tetanus immunizations (other immunizations, such as Hepatitis B vaccine or rabies vaccine, are considered medical treatment);
  • Cleaning, flushing or soaking wounds on the surface of the skin;
  • Using wound coverings such as bandages, Band-Aids™, gauze pads, etc.; or using butterfly bandages or Steri-Strips™ (other wound closing devices such as sutures, staples, etc., are considered medical treatment);
  • Using hot or cold therapy;
  • Using any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc. (devices with rigid stays or other systems designed to immobilize parts of the body are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes);
  • Using temporary immobilization devices while transporting an accident victim (e.g., splints, slings, neck collars, back boards, etc.).
  • 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 (physical therapy or chiropractic treatment are considered medical treatment for recordkeeping purposes); or
  • Drinking fluids for relief of heat stress.
  • Are any other procedures included in first aid? No, this is a complete list of all treatments considered first aid for Part 1904 purposes.

Does the professional status of the person providing the treatment have any effect on what is considered first aid or medical treatment?

No, OSHA considers the first aid treatments listed to be first aid regardless of the professional status of the person providing the treatment. Even when a physician or other licensed health care professional provides the treatments, they are considered first aid for this purpose. Similarly, if someone provides medical treatment beyond first aid other than a physician or other licensed health care professional, it is still considered to be medical treatment.


What if a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends medical treatment but the employee does not follow the recommendation?

If a physician or other licensed health care professional recommends medical treatment, you should encourage the injured or ill employee to follow that recommendation. However, you must record the case even if the injured or ill employee does not follow the physician or other licensed health care professional's recommendation. Supervisors should worth with HR Consultant and Risk Management if employee does not follow medical recommendations.


Is every work-related injury or illness case involving a loss of consciousness reportable?

Yes, you must record a work-related injury or illness if the worker becomes unconscious, regardless of the length of time the employee remains unconscious.


Does the size or degree of a burn determine whether or not it should be recorded as an injury or illness?

No, the size or degree of a work-related burn does not determine report ability. If a work-related first, second, or third degree burn results in one or more of the outcomes such as death, days away from work, work restriction, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or medical removal, the case must be recorded as an injury or illness.


If an employee dies during surgery made necessary by a work-related injury or illness, is the case recordable? What if the surgery occurs weeks or months after the date of the injury or illness?

If an employee dies as a result of surgery or other complications following a work-related injury or illness, the case is recordable as an injury or illness. If the underlying injury or illness was recorded prior to the employee's death, the supervisor must call EH&S at 543-7262.