Things You Don’t Want on Your OSHA Incident Report

Apparently there was a death in the workplace at New Berlinville, PA environmental services company back in 2008. Normally this would not be news, except for the “Accident Investigation Summary:”

At approximately 12:35 p.m. on January 3, 2008, Employee #1 picked up a functional test box assembly and hooked the two alligator clips of this tester to his nipple rings. He turned on the power switch, which caused up to 2 amps of current at 110 volt AC to flow through the alligator clips. Employee #1 fell to the ground. The supervisor and coworkers rendered CPR, and outside emergency medical services utilized an AED. However, Employee #1 died a short time later at the hospital.

His occupation is listed as “Painting and paint spraying machine operators,” which makes you wonder if he was sniffing too much of the fumes when he was overcome by a desire to spike 110VAC across the really important part of his cardiovascular system. I think what’s interesting is that it looks like OSHA fined the employer. Is there really any workplace safety regulation that can prevent stupid?

12 thoughts on “Things You Don’t Want on Your OSHA Incident Report”

  1. well I’m guessing with the hardware he came into the shop with, I suspect he’d played less stupid games before and was upping the ante.

  2. better question: how much company-paid life insurance was he provided? Employer may have gotten fined, but . . . who knows, this may work out financially for them.

  3. The only thing worse would have been if he connected the alligator clips to a “Prince Albert”. Either way, he is at least an honorable mention winner for the Darwin Award.

  4. I don’t know what the contact resistance might be between two nipple rings, but I do know that across my hands are in the neighborhood of 500k ohms when dry. 2 amps seems like an awful lot of current for the voltage applied… I have no idea how they reached that conclusion. In any event, 200mA is enough to kill a person.

    1. They said “Up to 2 amps.” That’s what the power supply was rated for? IE, they know it couldn’t have been more. That’s not all that hefty – rule of thumb says that’s roughly equivalent to a 200 watt power supply. If I wanted to seriously annoy one of my cats, I could swing him and nail at least 3 different sources of that amount of power that are independent of mains power before I had to go find the bactine.

      The takeaway here is to avoid being in the path of 60-cycle AC.

  5. If you think this is bad, you’ve obviously never read the report from the ER physician who had to treat the man who severed one of his testicles while masturbating with a sander on his break at work.

    That’s the kind of thing that creates really odd workplace rules. I can see customers wondering about the “NO MASTURBATING WITH THE POWER EQUIPMENT” signs posted in the shop now.

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