Antique pistol – Fired by an airman on leave who started to drop it, tried to grab it, bumped the trigger, and shot himself in the knee. The pistol didn’t have a safety or a trigger guard. Now worn by our Museum security officer while on patrol.
Book (medical reference, entitled "Brady Emergency Medicine") – Produced a concussion when a seaman apprentice got hit in the head with it during a fight at a naval hospital school. Since this injury occurred at a hospital school, they probably didn’t have to open the book and look up how to treat head injuries.
Caution tape (2 pieces) – One hit a Seabee in the eye in Kuwait. He was working on a project site, and should have been wearing safety glasses. The second piece, from Hawaii, had been attached to a barrel and was blowing in the wind when a lieutenant pedaled by. The tape wrapped around the bike’s handlebars and threw him off-balance. He was wearing a helmet but still spent five days on light duty.
Danger tag – From an electrician's mate third class in South Carolina who was removing it from a piece of equipment during tagout training. Trying to sever the string on the tag, he cut toward himself and put a gash in his finger.
Defibrillator – Produced a lump on the head of an E-1, who was walking down a hall in an Army building in Missouri. He dropped his cover, bent over to pick it up, and cracked open his head on the defibrillator when he stood up.
Eyewash station – Courtesy of a carrier that was steaming around the far side of the world. The eyewash station wasn't out of commission when someone came stumbling up with an eye full of hazmat, nor was it spewing out swamp water that had been in it since two weeks after commissioning. An MM3 was taking it apart to clean it and sliced open a finger on a jagged piece of plastic.
Fan safety guard – From a fan that an AT2 in Florida was working on. Mishap report said, “the fan turned without the safety guard over the fan because the fan was installed backwards.” That means “the fan guard was inside instead of outside.” The fan blade lopped off the tip of the Sailor’s finger.
Flight-deck gloves – From an E-1 aviation boatswain's mate who broke her finger while taking them off.
Fire extinguishers – One (from Florida) was knocked loose from its wall mount by a civilian police officer. It fell on his foot and cut and bruised his toe. The second was triggered off by an E-5 master-at-arms who was taking inventory on the emergency supply bag in a security vehicle in New Jersey. As she took the fire extinguisher out of the bag, the handle got caught, and the fire extinguisher sprayed her in the eye.
Gift shop -- Features numerous items that make perfect souvenirs from your visit, as well as tools for local safety programs. Items include:
• Dashboard bobblehead of Goofus, Patron Saint of Skylarks, with “No Thanks” emblazoned in red letters across its base.
• Poster illustrations of famous moments in Friday Funnies history. Poster #1 is based on “The Amazing Tale of the Sailor, the Scissors and the Tootsie Roll Pop” (November 1995). Future posters will depict the equally astonishing story of the jeep, the grass fire and the fish (June 1996); and the bumblebee-up-the-nostril incident (June 1997).
• Not-O.K. Corral water pistol, a highly realistic version of the 1873 .45-cal. Colt Peacemaker, except that it is plastic and if you pull the trigger by mistake and hit someone, the result is a small spot of water, not a large spot of blood.
• “Dum Dum” brand candies that were once handed out by a safety specialist to workers whenever he witnessed them doing something unsafe (he did this until his safety manager vetoed the idea "because it could be construed as degrading").
• Fortune cookies containing messages such as “The worst problem could be your stupidity" and "You can't possibly live long enough to make all of them yourself." Note that these so-called fortunes were actually received by a family member of the author of the Friday Funnies.
Handle from a watertight door – The door led from medical to a shipboard passageway. An AG3 cut his hand on it. Not sure if he was going in or going out.
Light fixture – From an emergency lighting fixture from a training support building in South Carolina. An electronics technician third class was walking along the passageway, studying his qualification standard. He was so engrossed that he cut his head on this fixture, which had been fitted with a foam pad, but a sharp corner was still exposed.
Medical tent – Acquired from an air show in Texas. An HM1 reservist had been working at the show when strong winds blew down the tent. A cross-beam hit her in the head, thereby producing a potential patient for the medical tent (if it hadn’t blown down, that is).
Metal hand-hold bar – From a ship, where it had been installed near the center of the ladder on the deck frame between the O-5 and O-6 levels, at about the height of the average person’s head, for the crew to use to help keep their balance. An E-3 yeoman was rushing down the ladder during darken-ship conditions and didn’t see it.
Motorcycle jacket – Had been strapped on the backseat of a motorcycle ridden by an aviation machinist mate second class on an interstate in California. The jacket came loose and tangled in the rear wheel, which locked up. The AD2 wrecked, broke a wrist and sprained an ankle.
OBA – From a training center in Florida. A BM3 put it on and didn't get any air through the mask. Give him credit for persistence--he huffed and puffed until he blacked out.
Plaque – From an air force base in California. Fell on someone’s head when they sat down in a chair beneath it and leaned back. The plaque was a safety award for a mishap-free quarter.
Posters/safety gouge – Had been covering up the glass part of an office door where two Marines (coming from opposite directions) collided. One sliced open his arm.
Protective shoes/sandals – Worn by an E-4 while clambering around on a cliff (he jumped down, stubbed his foot, and bruised his toes badly enough to put him on LIMPDU for 10 days.
Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat – Capsized during a ship's man-overboard drill off Florida, dumping five Sailors (including a pair of SAR swimmers) into the drink.
Rubber mat – Tripped over by a civilian police officer on the graveyard shift, outside the back door of police headquarters. She toppled forward and hit her head on a patrol car, knocking herself out. Installed on the front porch at the Museum.
Safety briefing – An E-1 hospitalman was watching it when she passed out and hit the deck, face first. At the Museum, this presentation plays on a monitor in the lobby. We’ve put in a couple of chairs, equipped with seatbelts, in case any visitors want to try to sit through the whole thing.
Safety glasses – They broke at the nose bridge, poked the wearer in the eye and scratched his cornea. Local safety specialists found other pairs of the same safety glasses that broke at the same spot. Displayed in the “Safety Items That Caused a Mishap” wing.
Safety pole – Crashed into by a distracted lance corporal while riding his bike home from work.
Safety rail – A section that fell from overhead in a hangar bay and conked a DCFN. Someone hadn't installed the safety pins.
Safety sleeve – Attached to a safety harness swung. It bounced off a dome and hit a shipboard Sailor in the mouth.
Safety tower – 10-foot, erected on the perimeter of the Museum grounds. It had been briefly occupied by an E-4 while he was a safety observer for a gun shoot. He was sitting on the railing when he lost his balance, toppled off and broke his leg.
Safety wire (2 pieces) – One piece poked an AT2 in the eye while he was installing some equipment in an aircraft. He was safety-wiring fasteners when he dropped some pieces of the wire. When he bent over to look for them, he was still holding some pieces of safety wire in his left hand. The one in our exhibit scratched his eye. The other piece scratched a mech in the eye. She was safety-wiring bolts on an oil line on an aircraft engine in an awkward spot. It was dark and she was working by feel.
Sign post stub – In a parking lot, and tripped over by a civilian clerk. He toppled, banged up his knee and scraped his hand. Relocated to the obstacle course behind the Museum.
Sticky mat – Installed outside a computer room. A civilian employee’s shoe got stuck. She fell and twisted her knee.
Truck – Was carrying a bunch of mock-victims during a disaster drill, and that, thanks to a leaky exhaust system, gave them all a serious dose of carbon monoxide exposure.
Warning board – Installed on an uneven floor behind some rolling shelves, and subsequently tripped over by a worker.
Warning sign – One of those "Warning—Slow-Moving Vehicle" triangular signs that they use on the back of trucks, trailers or (in this case) a forklift. A civilian materials handler in Hawaii was putting a cylinder on a forklift while a co-worker fetched a pallet. During the process, he sliced open his knuckle on the sign. We’ve attached a warning sign to this warning sign that says "Beware of sharp edges."
“Wet floor” sign – Folded up outside a restroom at a research lab. A scientist slipped on it, planted one arm and tore his rotator cuff. These signs are used during our annual “Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You” day at the Museum.
Got a Funnies-worthy yarn? Need to get something off your chest? We welcome your feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question about some of our odd terminology, become an insider by studying up on our Glossary.
Last Revision: September 29, 2015