Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Employers must record injuries related to alcohol consumption

If a person in Maryland consumes alcohol before they go to work, they could be injured on the job as a result of their intoxication. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to record alcohol-related injuries if the injuries are severe enough that they require more treatment than simple first aid.

Though there are certain exemptions to OSHA's injury reporting rule, the fact that an injury was caused by off-the-job alcohol consumption does not make the injury exempt from reporting requirements. OSHA allows employers to keep injuries that are related to self-medication for a non-work-related condition out of their work injury records. Injuries that are intentionally self-inflicted or directly caused by an employee's personal grooming activities are also exempt from reporting requirements.

The head of OSHA's Technical Support and Emergency Management Directorate recently clarified the reporting rule as it relates to alcohol consumption. An employer had asked whether alcohol consumption could be considered self-medication for alcoholism. OSHA responded to the employer's question by saying that alcohol consumption was a manifestation of alcoholism, not a medication for the condition, and workplace injuries related to alcohol consumption are not exempt from injury reporting requirements.

An employee may pursue a claim for workers' compensation benefits after he or she was injured at work. An attorney may be able to help an injured worker determine whether they qualify for benefits and then help them gather evidence for their case. If a third party injured a person while they were at the workplace, the injured worker may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim against the responsible individual.

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