Federal agencies Recordkeeping

OSHA reversal: Injuries treated with kinesiology tape not recordable

Kinesiology tape

Photo: macniak/iStock/Thinkstock

Washington – OSHA has reversed an interpretation on the use of kinesiology tape to treat worker injuries, saying use of the elastic tape is considered first aid and injuries treated with it are not recordable.

In a Dec. 12 letter of interpretation, OSHA stated that using kinesiology tape goes beyond first aid and must be recorded on employers’ injury and illness logs. The agency said it came to this conclusion because kinesiology tape is designed to relieve pain from acute injuries, making use of the tape akin to physical therapy.

However, a stakeholder asked OSHA to reconsider this interpretation. In a July 6 letter, the agency said it reviewed information associated with the use and evaluation of kinesiology tape and concluded it falls within the parameters of first aid treatment set forth in the General Recording Criteria Standard (1904.7). Therefore, injuries that require use of the tape are not recordable.

“The use of kinesiology tape and other types of elastic taping is included within the definition of first aid treatment, and thus the use of such tape alone would not be considered medical treatment,” Amanda Edens, director of OSHA’s directorate of technical support and emergency management, said in the letter.