While it's not an OSHA violation, this remains the one and only time during my retail career I was A) actually hurt on the job, and B) got to witness my manager vehemently not caring.
Workin' at the bookstore! One morning, I'm put on shelf-scanning duty, with instructions to hustle myself to the registers if any of the cashiers call for backup. My shelves to scan are the art books. For the record, my coworkers and I *loathe* the art books. They're always oversized and overpriced, almost no one (in my experience) buys them, and the fancy jackets always get torn when people page through them. As a bonus, the store's art section is made up of one long column of shelves, bottom to top. The top shelf is a bit over six feet off the ground. I am five foot one.
So there I am, standing on my tiptoes on a wobbly wheeled stool, my scanner in one hand and one art book at a time in my other hand. As I clutch a giant hardcover full of color plates, the store speakers fire up and blare for help at the registers.
I'm startled, I stumble--I stumble right off the stool, book tilting downward out of my hand and gouging one corner across my lower arm. I manage not to actually fall, but as I stand there getting my bearings, I realize that the book has hit the floor, crumpling several of those color plates and probably rendering it unsalable... and also, I'm bleeding. Dramatically. Down my arm and into my hand.
So I pick up the book in my non-bloody hand and start to hike across the sales floor towards the back office and employee room. Halfway there, I am stopped by a Very Important Customer.
VIC: Miss! Miss, do you work here? I need help finding something.
ME: I'm not able to help you right now, ma'am, but if you go to the information desk, I'm sure--
VIC: I don't have the time to wait in line over there! I need help NOW! I must say, your idea of customer service is lacking!
She at least has the courtesy to look chagrined as she lets me pass. I get safely into the employee room, where a coworker helps me find the first-aid kit and apply band-aids and such. The art book is left on a nearby table.
MANAGER: *comes bursting out of his office* L! Why aren't you at the registers?
ME: I had an accident in the art books. *holds up arm, which is no longer bleeding, but now patched with several band-aids.*
MANAGER: That's no excuse! They were swamped out there, and you're the designated backup!
ME: I was ACTIVELY BLEEDING. I would have ruined the books, the bags, the cash registers...
MANAGER: Whatever. You'll be written up...*sees the art book on the table* Oh my god, what happened?
ME: I dropped that book, it gouged my arm open, and I think some of the pages got messed up when it hit the floor.
MANAGER: This book costs (*about as much as I made during one daily shift*)! I can't believe you ruined it!
ME: *stands there seething, wishing I could bleed on him*
MANAGER: Stop wasting my time--get back out to the registers. I'll make sure the Store Manager knows you can't be trusted with valuable items like this in the future.
The Store Manager apparently didn't care, as the incident had no further repercussions. I got through the rest of that day (my dear coworker finished the art books for me) and healed up, although I can still see the scar on my arm. And I will never forget that manager showing more anguish over a damn art book with torn pages than over his bleeding employee.
--Lily former bookworm/slave of the Big Green Bookstore