It is well-established that injuries and illnesses, such as those sustained in a motor vehicle accident that occurs during an employee’s normal commute time from home to work, are not work-related and thus not recordable under Part 1904. The reasoning is that an employee traveling during their normal commute time between home and work is not in the “work environment,” nor is the employee performing work activity in the “interest of the employer. Instead, the commute time is non-work-related-activity that is within the personal control of the employee.
However, in a recent standard interpretation, OSHA stated that if the employee has ended their typical regular workday and is called back to the workplace to assist with an emergency and is injured in a motor vehicle accident on their way back to the workplace, the injury would be recordable. In this scenario, OSHA says because the employee was required to return to the workplace outside of their normal commute, the employee was engaged in a work activity “in the interest of the employer,” thus the resulting injury must be recorded on the OSHA 300 log.
By logical extension, this would also mean that a fatality or in-patient hospitalization resulting from such a motor vehicle accident would also need to be affirmatively reported to OSHA within the time period prescribed under Part 1904.