Tape It Up! New OSHA Interpretation on Kinesiology Tape

Posted on 7/7/2015 by Roger Marks

In response to a letter from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, OSHA has reevaluated its classification of applying kinesiology tape as a form of “medical treatment beyond first aid.”

The new interpretation, posted to OSHA’s website on July 6, is a significant turn-around for OSHA. In December 2014, the Agency responded to a similar request from the public by stating that “use of kinesiology tape is akin to physical therapy and is considered medical treatment beyond first aid for OSHA recordkeeping purposes.”

Why it’s Significant

Under OSHA’s injury and illness reporting and recordkeeping rules, any injury that requires “medical treatment beyond first aid” is a recordable injury. So, employers were required to record the injury on OSHA 300 logs and other reports every time kinesiology tape was used.

Under 29 CFR 1904.7, “first aid” includes any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.” OSHA’s latest interpretation on taping injuries recognizes that using tape alone falls firmly inside the scope of this definition.

OSHA now recognizes kinesiology tape as first aid

Further OSHA Reporting Reading

OSHA published a Final Rule in September 2014 to amend the injury and illness recordkeeping requirements. Read more about these changes, effective as of January 1, 2015, here.

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