When it comes to workplace safety, understanding the difference between an OSHA recordable incident and first aid is essential for every business. A recordable incident is one that is reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), while first aid treatment is oftentimes provided by a healthcare provider onsite or offsite. This article will explain the difference between them and how recordable incidents can affect your business.

What is a Recordable Incident?

A recordable incident is any illness, injury, fatality, or damage to property when it falls under certain criteria. This includes any situation where an employee is injured, or becomes ill, as a result of their job, causing them to miss work for at least one day or obtain medical treatment beyond first aid.

What is First Aid?

First aid is the immediate and temporary provision of care given to a worker who has been injured or become ill due to the job. It is administered onsite or offsite by a healthcare provider or someone who is appropriately trained. Types of first aid include controlling bleeding without sutures or dermabond, treating minor cuts, draining blisters, and drinking fluids to counteract heat stress.​​

What Happens When There is a Recordable Incident?

When a recordable incident occurs, employers must act quickly and correctly to ensure that the incident is reported properly. This includes filing a claim with their insurer, providing appropriate medical treatment for the affected person(s), and recording details such as the incident’s date and time, the severity of the injuries in question, names of witnesses, etc.

It’s also crucial for employers to understand their state and local laws regarding recordable incidents. For example, some states may require that you report a recordable incident within 24 hours, while others may have different requirements. Failure to follow proper protocols can potentially result in additional costs and legal trouble.

How Recordable Incidents Impact Your Business

Recordable incidents can be a significant pain for any business. Costs associated with medical treatment, investigation and paperwork can add up fast. An injured employee’s medical visits and time away from work can take a toll on morale and productivity. Furthermore, if not properly handled, recordable incidents could result in higher insurance premiums down the line or lead to audits and legal troubles.

How Can You Reduce Recordable Incidents?

Unfortunately, accidents happen no matter how carefully you plan and prepare, and the workplace is no exception. But that doesn’t mean you should give up hope of preventing them altogether. Taking steps to reduce the number of recordable incidents that occur in the workplace can go a long way.

First off, ensure your staff is properly attired with appropriate safety gear – hard hats, goggles, high visibility vests, etc. – and trained on how to use them. Every business should also have written out guidelines for any safety procedures and protocols in place as well as how to correctly administer first aid if required. Doing this will help to minimize the chances of something going wrong before it does.

If an accident does occur, ensure your employee gets the appropriate treatment. Most of the time, basic first aid (like cleaning a wound and applying a bandage) is all that’s needed, so there’s no need to send your employee to a doctor or file an insurance claim. This way, you can keep costs and paperwork down while your employee avoids the hassle of follow-up appointments and lost time from work.


Recordable incidents are serious business, and businesses must take steps to ensure that they are properly documented and handled to reduce costs. By utilizing safety protocols, training and using common sense when treating injuries, the number of recordable incidents in the workplace can be drastically reduced. Ultimately, employers need to remember that prevention is key and that they should take the necessary steps to ensure their employees are safe and properly taken care of in the event of a recordable incident.

Liberty Urgent Care can accommodate new injuries on a walk-in basis, 7-days a week. We offer extended hours in the evenings and on weekends so that you can avoid unnecessary trips to the ER and save money. We pride ourselves on accurate documentation and open communication through all phases of the workers compensation process. Our providers will call your company on every first visit, and provide a report within 24 hours of an employee being treated.

If you’re looking for a service provider to help you reduce recordable incidents in the workplace, then look no further than Liberty. Our experienced professionals can provide Injury care and workers compensation services tailored to your specific needs. We have the expertise and experience to keep your employees safe and ensure that all recordable incidents are handled in a timely and efficient manner. Get in touch today to find out more about our services!