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Q141 - Double Whammy
A shop worker breaks a fingernail loading a lightweight cardboard box into a truck cab. As he clips his nail, a piece flies up into his eye. He attempts to rub his eye to remove the nail piece but is unable to get it out. His supervisor tells him to deal with it and sends him back to work. Later, after cleaning parts in the solvent based parts cleaner, he removes the gloves and while handling the parts, gets solvent on the nail quick from the torn fingernail. In pain, he seeks medical treatment with a swollen red eye and a swollen red finger. A doctor gives him oral antibiotics for his finger and uses tweezers to remove the fingernail from his eye. He was also referred to an Ophthalmologist for a scratched cornea. The Ophthalmologist prescribes multiple prescription eye drops (steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories). Is it recordable?
YES. This scenario unfortunately resulted in TWO OSHA recordables. The first recordable resulted when a doctor uses tweezers to remove the fingernail from his eye, followed by prescription eye drops (both considered medical treatment). The second recordable resulted from the prescription antibiotics issued for the injured finger.
(First Aid Includes) Removing splinters or foreign material from areas other than the eye by irrigation, tweezers, cotton swabs or other simple means;
Letter of Interpretation: The issuance of prescription antibiotics is considered medical treatment beyond first aid for OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping purposes.