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Q152 - Severed Ear

Question: 

While riding in an ATV through a worksite an employee loses control of the vehicle while turning on loose gravel and rolls into a ditch. The employee strikes the side of his head on sharp metal pipe and severs his ear. He receives surgery to reattach the ear as well as prescription antibiotics. Is it recordable?

Answer:

YES. The injury was work-related and resulted in medical treatment (surgery) and therefore it is recordable. However, a severed ear does not require a report to OSHA because OSHA does not consider it to be an amputation. Amputations must be reported to OSHA.

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.

Letter of Interpretation: How does OSHA define "amputation"? 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.

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