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Heart Failure

Heart Failure

John Henry was an employee for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. He was known as the best hand on the job for his great strength and even stronger work ethic and character. No man drove more steel than John Henry. In fact, John Henry could do the steel driving of several men himself. One day, a salesman arrived on the job site touting a machine that could do the work of 12 men. Worried the machine would replace him and his co-workers, John Henry decided to take on the machine in a steel driving competition. The salesman told the company that if John Henry outworked the machine, they could have it free of cost. John Henry’s supervisor obliged, and the competition was on. The machine was out running John Henry until he grabbed a second hammer and started driving steel with two hands. Eventually, John Henry out worked the machine and it broke down. John Henry didn’t finish working until he collapsed and died of, what doctors determined to be, heart failure. News quickly spread of John Henry’s incredible feat that took his life. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad accepted several machines free of cost from the salesman and OSHA arrived two days later after reading the news. Is it recordable?

YES. John Henry was a strong, healthy man and the doctors determined his job tasks and efforts at work caused his heart to fail. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad had to record the death on their log. They also will face a penalty for late reporting of a death.


How do I decide if a case meets one or more of the general recording criteria? A work-related injury or illness must be recorded if it results in one or more of the following:


Death. See § 1904.7(b)(2).


Within eight (8) hours after the death of any employee as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the fatality to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor.

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