Finger Tip Amputation
A chef at a casino cuts the tip of his left middle finger off with a knife while preparing some meat. The chef does not lose any bone from the amputation. The chef is seen in the ER where the finger is cared for, but the damage is permanent. The doctor does not allow the chef to return to work and a follow up visit is scheduled in two weeks. Is it recordable?
YES. Even though the employee did not suffer any bone loss, the tip of the finger was severed off. This meets amputation reporting criteria which must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours. The employee also lost time as he could not return to work until cleared by the doctor.
Letter of Interpretation: An amputation, for OSHA reporting purposes, is defined under section 1904.39(b)(11). "An amputation is the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, severed ears, or broken or chipped teeth."