Are Off-site Activities Recordable?
Scenario: An employee is injured while participating in go-cart racing, which occurred during an off-site company sponsored team-building event. Employees were required to attend the off-site meeting and lunch, but were then free to choose among the following options: (1) participating in the team-building event; (2) returning to the office to finish the work day; or (3) taking a ½-day vacation.
Questions: Is an injury incurred during the go-cart racing considered to be work-related? Is the answer any different if an employee elects to stay for the go-cart racing but is not required to participate and is injured while watching the racing?
Response: Under Section 1904.5(b)(1), OSHA defines the work environment as “the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment. The work environment includes not only physical locations, but also the equipment or materials used by the employee during the course of his or her work.”
In the scenario presented, the employee is at the go-cart facility as a condition of employment. Therefore, he or she is in the work environment and any injury or illness that arises is presumed to be work-related and must then be evaluated for its recordability under the general recording criteria. This holds true for both participating in and observing the races.