Employee Eats a Spider

Question: During a safety tailboard meeting at the beginning of the day, a lineman sees a spider on a pole. To show off, he grabs the spider and, in front of the group, eats it. The spider bites him in the mouth before it dies and ultimately the lineman is seen by a physician and issued prescription strength antibiotics. Is it recordable?

Answer: YES. There is no exception to the OSHA recordkeeping rules for horseplay. The exception for eating or drinking for personal consumption does not apply to this situation because the employee wasn't engaging in a meal but engaging in horseplay. The injury is considered work-related and the prescription antibiotics is considered medical treatment beyond first aid.

1904.5(a) You must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the work environment, unless an exception in §1904.5(b)(2) specifically applies.