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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200230886 - Employee Impaled By Wood Splinter, Dies Of Infection

Accident: 200230886 -- Report ID: 1032500 -- Event Date: 07/07/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30258678909/19/20002421Empire Lumber Company Dba Kamiah Mills
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on July 7, 2000, Employee #1 and a coworker were operating a self-feeding power rip saw. Employee #1 was feeding 2 by 8 lumber into the saw and the coworker was removing and sorting the cut pieces. The material coming out were a 5 3/4 in. board, a 3/4 in. piece of stock to be used for stickers, and either edge waste or another sticker, depending on the condition of the original 2 by 8. Employee #1 turned to load another board on the table as the coworker stacked the 2 by 6. The coworker was reaching for the sticker when the edge waste piece fell on the edge and shot back through the rip saw, powered by one of the round saw blades. The 3 ft to 4 ft long sliver of wood impaled Employee #1 in the back below the ribs, entering above the kidney and slicing it open. Employee #1 pulled the piece out of his back and was administered first aid by coworkers. He was transported by the mill manager to the Kamaih clinic, and then transferred to a hospital in Lewiston, ME. Employee #1 underwent seven surgeries and procedures to remove wood splinters from his back and to drain the wound, which had become infected. He spent 38 days in the hospital, and died at 3:00 a.m. on September 17, as a result of infection caused by slivers of wood. The rip saw had a hood covering the saw blades and under the hood were two live rolls, one before the saw blades and one after. The anti-kickback dogs were attached to the hood and ended at approximately the same level as the live feed rolls. The rollers and anti-kickback dogs were set at a height of 2 in.; the piece on the edge that impaled Employee #1 was less than 3/4 in. thick.
Keywords: kick back, splinter, impaled, work rules, saw, infection, sawmill, flying object, kidney, unguarded
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302586789 Fatality Poisoning(Systemic) Miscellaneous woodworking machine operators

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