Under OSHA’s reporting rules a fatality must be reported to OSHA within eight (8) hours.  Hospitalization of one or more workers, amputations, or loss of an eye must be reported within twenty-four (24) hours.  The following is excerpted from a letter of interpretation attributed to Francis Yebesi, of OSHA’s Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis.

What is an 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; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached.  Amputations do not include avulsions, enucleations, deglovings, scalpings, fingernail or toenail removal, eyelid removal, severed ears, or broken/chipped teeth.

How do you distinguish between an amputation and an avulsion?

If and when there is a health care professional’s diagnosis available, the employer should rely on that diagnosis.  If such a diagnosis is unavailable the employer should rely on the definition and examples of amputations included in the regulatory text of Section 1904.39(b)(11).  If the very tip of a finger is AMPUTATED it must be reported.  An amputation does not require loss of bone.

Does loss of an eye include loss of sight?

Loss of an eye is the physical removal of the eye.  Loss of sight, without the removal of the eye is not a reportable event.


Keep in mind that the above interpretation relates to the reporting requirements and does not change the employer’s OSHA recordkeeping obligations.


Should you have any questions regarding OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting rules contact Don Ashton, Director of Safety Services at dashton@ .