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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200053577 - Employee Is Injured By Radial Arm Saw Cutting Pallets

Accident: 200053577 -- Report ID: 0728900 -- Event Date: 06/26/2009
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31146739306/26/20092448Trade Well Pallet, Inc.
On June 26, 2009, upon arrival at work at a pallet manufacturing facility, Employee #1 was directed by the production manager to report to the "north saw" to cut 4 in. by 4 in. by 4 in. material wood needed for pallet-making cutting from 4 in. by 4 in. by 40 in. stock lumber. The "north saw" was a De Walt radial arm saw located in the NW corner of the facility. The cutting surface was somewhat greater than an inch wide, where the saw blade cuts through the 4 in. by 4 in. by 4 in. wood block. Employee #1 had done some limited work with this saw, cutting these blocks the day prior to the accident, and, although was not usually assigned this task, he did have saw experience on the table saws throughout the facility. Initially, the production manager supervised Employee #1 to ensure that all procedures and safety were followed and then left after about 10 minutes. Employee #1 continued to work, took a break, and then returned to work on cutting the blocks. At approximately 10:30 a.m., he ran the radial arm saw over his left hand leaving a laceration that almost amputated the left thumb and cut approximately 2 in. beyond the wrist. Fellow employees came to his aid with the nearest worker operating other equipment about 20 ft away. Emergency services were summoned, and Employee #1 was taken by ambulance to UNMC. He had received a severe laceration that amputated the top inch of the left index finger, which was surgically reattached. He also sustained a laceration beginning between the left thumb and index finger that went approximately 4 to 5 in. up and past the left wrist. Factors that may have caused or contributed to the accident were (a) The machine had all guards, although restraints can also be used as a method to ensure the off-set hand cannot be caught, and (b) Employee #1 had only worked in the facility for three weeks. It is possible that the employee was not as familiar with the product being cut or the saw being used as supervisors believed. Additional training and/or experience might have been warranted.
Keywords: amputated, machine operator, saw, inexperience, laceration, restraining device, pallet, hand
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 311467393 Hospitalized injury Cut/Laceration Laborers, except construction

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