Cracked Denture

Question:
A mechanic is working a wrench on a piece of equipment at face level. The mechanic pulls back on the wrench and it slips and strikes him in the mouth. The mechanic does not suffer any laceration, only a swollen lip and a cracked denture that a dentist installed two years ago. Is it recordable?

Answer:
NO. A cracked permanent tooth meets OSHA record keeping criteria. However, damaged artificial devices such as dentures do not have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log.

Letter of Interpretation
Question 1: Would damage to a denture in the presence of no other discernible injury be considered a recordable injury requiring entry on the OSHA 300 log even when medical treatment is not administered?

Response 1: Damage only to an employee's denture would not be a recordable injury. Section 1904.7(b) provides that a work-related injury or illness must be recorded on the OSHA 300 Log if it results in death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or a serious injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.

Section 1907.7(b)(7) provides that only a physician or other licensed health care professional can diagnose a serious or significant injury or illness. Work-related cases involving cancer, chronic irreversible disease, a fractured or cracked bone, or a punctured eardrum must always be recorded under the general criteria at the time of diagnosis by a physician or other licensed health care professional. OSHA believes that cancer, chronic irreversible diseases, fractured or cracked bones, and punctured eardrums are generally considered significant injuries and illnesses, and must be recorded at the initial diagnosis even if medical treatment or work restrictions are not recommended.

As discussed in the preamble of the Recordkeeping final rule, work-related fractures of bones or teeth are recognized as constituting significant diagnoses and, if the condition is work-related, are appropriately-recorded at the time of initial diagnosis even if the case does not involve any of the other general recording criteria (Federal Register/Vol. 66, No. 13/Friday, January 19, 2001/Rules and Regulations/page 5995). Thus, for purposes of Part 1904, injuries and illnesses are limited to disorders and abnormal conditions related to a person. Damage to artificial or mechanical devices, such as dentures, eye glasses, canes, or prosthetic arms or legs, would not be considered an injury or illness under Part 1904.