Question: An employee was standing by machinery when a high pressure tank ruptured making a loud sound. The employee did not have his hearing protection on properly and as a result, suffered from a punctured ear drum. Is it recordable?
Answer: YES. Punctured ear drums are considered severe injuries and must be recorded.
Letter of Interpretation: 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.