There’s nothing funny about workplace accidents. Well, except when they are funny. And sometimes, assuming no one was seriously injured, we just have to admit that the circumstances were on the zany side. The humor is frequently captured in the accident report, and many times it’s the writer’s choice of phrasing, more than the factual details of what happened, that triggers the snickers.
Here’s an example:
“I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.”
When the laughter subsides, these events have to be evaluated for possible inclusion on the OSHA 300 log. To decide, we must determine the answer to the following questions:
- Is there in fact an illness or injury?
- Was the incident work-related?
- Does it meet any of OSHA’s recording criteria?
Here’s another humorous incident I once saw on the log: an angry, nesting goose flogged an employee as he crossed the parking lot from his car to the building. The employee came away with three stitches on his forearm from fighting off his flailing feathered friend. Was it recordable? There was an injury, it was work-related, and the three stitches necessary to sew it up counted as “treatment beyond first aid.” Yes, this was definitely recordable.
If you need a little help making this kind of determination, I’ve got good news. We’re offering the OSHA #7845 Recordkeeping class twice in January. We’ll also cover the new requirements that go into effect in 2017. The class is worth 7.5 MESH hours and also counts as an elective for anyone pursuing OSHA’s National Certificate. This class is pretty popular, so reserve your seat soon.
Now, let’s hear from you! Leave a comment below and share the funniest case you ever had to record. Please…no names or identifying information!
Stay safe and healthy!
Holli Singleton is the Assistant Director of Safety & Health Services at NC State Industry Expansion Solutions. In addition to managing the services offered by the Safety and Health Specialists, she develops and presents workplace safety and health education courses, conducts work site assessments and provides occupational safety and environmental assistance to employers throughout the southeastern region of the United States.