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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 14505879 - Employee Killed When Struck By Piece Of Shattered Flywheel

Accident: 14505879 -- Report ID: 0830500 -- Event Date: 08/27/1985
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
64616608/28/19855932Universal Auto Wrecking, Inc
A mechanic at an auto wrecking yard was testing a Buick 350 engine for knocks, smoke, compression, and oil pressure. He had placed the engine on a stand, and since it was an automatic transmission, the bell housing and torque converter had been removed to prevent fluids from escaping during the testing. This left the starter flywheel exposed. Between 30 and 60 seconds after the engine was started, the flywheel shattered into three pieces. The largest piece flew 15 ft into the yard and struck Employee #1 on the right side of the head, fracturing his skull and resulting in cerebral edema. He was killed. The piece of flywheel continued on its trajectory to a metal fence about 100 ft away. It sliced a 2 ft gash in the fence before landing in front of it. The flywheel was moving at an estimated speed of 2,000 to 2,500 rpm when it shattered. No scatter shield was used on the flywheel during the testing period.
Keywords: fracture, automotive repair, work rules, engine, skull, struck by, flying object, brain, unguarded
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 646166 Fatality Concussion Occupation not reported

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