Question: An employee was sitting at a desk completing computer-based training using headphones. In the employee's words: "I was trying to fart and about half of the fart came out before I realized more was on its way out too. I caught that before it was too late and jumped up and started to run to the bathroom. In my haste I forgot to remove the headphones, which yanked my head and pulled the computer onto the ground. As I fell, I kicked over a water dispenser, broke my toe and then [pooped] all over myself." Is it recordable?
Answer: YES. The incident occurred in the work environment and is considered work-related and broken bones are considered severe injuries.
Letter of Interpretation: In the January 19, 2001, preamble to the final rule revising the recordkeeping regulation, OSHA explained that "work-related cancer, irreversible diseases, fractures of bone or teeth and punctured eardrums are generally recognized as constituting significant diagnoses, and if the condition is work-related, are appropriately recorded at the time of the initial diagnosis even if, at that time, medical treatment or work restrictions are not recommended."
1904.7(a): You must consider an injury or illness to meet the general recording criteria, and therefore to be recordable, if it results in any of the following: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness. You must also consider a case to meet the general recording criteria if it involves a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.