January 25, 2016 2 min read

Medical Treatment Versus First Aid for OSHA Recordkeeping


Multiple Industries


Vector EHS Management

OSHA requires companies to record work-related incidents if they involve medical treatment beyond first aid. You do NOT have to record the injury in your OSHA 300 form if you only administer first aid. As such, knowing the difference between first aid and medical treatment beyond first aid will help you improve the accuracy of your OSHA logs and reduce over-reporting.

What is medical treatment beyond first aid?

Medical treatment beyond first aid is a criteria that determines if a work-related injury or illness is OSHA recordable. Any work-related incident where the involved parties received medical treatment other than first aid is considered OSHA recordable. Keep in mind, however, it is not the only criterion that determines if an injury is OSHA recordable.

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What does OSHA consider first aid?

First aid often refers to one-time, short-term medical attention that is usually administered immediately after the injury occurs. It includes cleaning minor cuts or scrapes, applying bandages, use of non-prescription medicine at a non-prescription strength, and hot or cold therapy.

Draining blisters, removing debris from eyes, using eye patches, and even drinking fluids to relieve heat stress are also considered first aid by OSHA.

First aid cases are not required to be documented, even when they involve a health care professional.

What is considered medical treatment?

In contrast, OSHA defines medical treatment as the management and care of a patient to combat disease or disorder, often requiring a health care professional. A rule of thumb is anything that does not fall under OSHA’s definitions of first aid should be considered medical treatment.

Keep in mind that OSHA is very specific when determining what is first aid and what is a medical treatment. The use of non-prescription drugs at prescription strength is considered medical treatment by OSHA.

However, for recordkeeping purposes, it’s important to know medical treatment doesn’t include visits to a licensed health care professional solely for observation, counseling, diagnostic procedures or first aid.

Solutions such as Vector EHS Management Software can ease the burden of debating medical treatment or first aid by automatically determining if an incident should be recorded on your recordkeeping logs. To learn more about our OSHA recordkeeping software, visit our website.

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