Mother Goose Cited for Multiple OSHA Violations

Posted on 4/1/2014 by Joel Gregier

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety regulations are no laughing matter. Not only are these rules critical to protect workplace employees, but companies that fail to meet OSHA’s standards can face hefty fines and negative press.
At Lion, we take compliance seriously and we know your job is tough. In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, we’ve added some levity to the OSHA rules to give you a bit of relief. We took a look at some old-time favorite nursery rhymes to see what might happen if Mother Goose was subject to OSHA’s general industry standards.
Humpty Dumpty’s Great Fall
A Mr. Humpty Dumpty sustained serious injuries while doing construction work atop an elevated wall. At these heights, his employer, Mother Goose, was required to provide an adequate working surface. 
OSHA Ladder SafetyThis could have been achieved through properly installed scaffolding, with railings and a solid platform. For a smaller job, a well-placed ladder may have sufficed if it was pitched at the proper angle. However, none of these were provided to Mr. Dumpty.
Mother Goose was also cited for not providing any type of personal protective equipment, such as a fall harness, to keep Mr. Dumpty from his great fall. 
Even with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, Mr. Dumpty could not be put back together. This fatality dramatically increased the already high fines levied on Mother Goose.
See OSHA’s Ladders and Scaffolding or Personal Protective Equipment regulations.
Jack Was Not Too Nimble
Finding his job of manufacturing candlesticks boring, Jack decided to jump over a pile of lit candlesticks. Upon reaching the other side, he had severely burned himself on the flames and had also slipped and turned his ankle. Because of his injuries, Jack was unable to continue his work and was sent home for a few days to recover.
Mother Goose was upset that the injury resulted from horseplay and did not want it to increase the company’s number of injuries. As such, she simply “forgot” to add the injury to the OSHA 300 log. She was later fined for not properly recording the injury.
See OSHA Recordkeeping regulations. [29 CFR Part 1904]
Food Poisoning from Old Pease-Porridge
In a gesture of goodwill to her employees, Mother Goose decided to feed her staff some complimentary pease-porridge (either hot or cold). However, the porridge had been in the pot for too long, being nine days old.
A majority of the employees became ill due to the soured porridge. Their illnesses were recordable injuries since Mother Goose had provided the food. Because she was unaware this mass sickness was a recordable injury, Mother Goose was again fined for failing to properly update her company’s OSHA 300 log.
See OSHA Recording Criteria and Work-Relatedness regulations. 
Jack and Jill Fell Down Their Hill
On a routine trip to fetch a pail of water for their facility, Jack and Jill fell down a steep hill. As a result, both employees had to be hospitalized, with Jack sustaining serious injuries to his crown.
Mother Goose was cited for having unsafe walking surfaces. The hill leading to the well should have been equipped with a set of stairs with proper railings on both sides.
In addition, the water retrieval system, or “bucket,” created loads that were too heavy, leading to Jack and Jill’s subsequent fall. Some type of engineering controls should have been installed to aid with the movement of the water. For the future, OSHA suggested that Mother Goose install a piping system to bring water to the facility to avoid these types of accidents.
See OSHA Walking-Working Surfaces regulations and Lifting Equation publication.
[29 CFR Part1910 Subpart D; NIOSH Publication No. 94--110]
Do Not Be a Mother Goose
The list of citations in the stories above is not an exhaustive list of penalties and is meant to be taken in jest. However, your facility needs to remain diligent in protecting employees and training them in how to act safely in their work environment.
Did you recognize any of the rhymes? Feel free to share some of your own creative Mother Goose “violations” on our Lion blog.
For OSHA employee safety training on everything from hazard communication and materials handling to fall protection and more, Lion offers online training at

Tags: osha, reporting and recordkeeping

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