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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200340974 - Employee Caught Between Platform And Conveyor, Asphyxiated

Accident: 200340974 -- Report ID: 0523900 -- Event Date: 12/01/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31317917812/01/20104491Burlington Northern Santa Fe (Bnsf)
At approximately 6:15 a.m. on December 1, 2010, Employee #1 was assisting a coworker with the thawing of arc gates, which would allow frozen taconite pellets to feed onto a shuttle conveyor system at Station Number 24. The conveyor system was loading the pellets into a cargo ship at a material handling terminal. When taconite facility employees thaw the arc gates, they put a shuttle control switch into the "local" position so a ship loader would be unable to control movement of the conveyor shuttle from the remote ship loader's station. Employee #1 stepped up onto the shuttle conveyor framework to get closer to an arc gate with a hand-held propane torch. However, before he stepped onto the shuttle structure, he accidentally switched the shuttle conveyor control into the "remote" position, but was unaware of it, since the indicator light was burnt out. This gave another coworker, the ship loader, control of the shuttle conveyor movement. While Employee #1 was standing on the shuttle structure, the ship loader moved all 16 shuttle conveyors approximately 3 ft in a reverse direction. This movement of the shuttle conveyor caught and trapped Employee #1 in an approximate 7 in. wide space between the shuttle structure and a small fixed elevated working platform, where a coworker was standing and also thawing the arc gate with a separate propane torch. The coworker attempted to help Employee #1, but the forces of the conveyor system and the platform on his body asphyxiated him. The factors that contributed to the event included a failure to lock out the conveyor shuttle, an unguarded moving conveyor adjacent to the danger zone, powered conveyors started before employees were cleared of the conveyor and an inoperable safety device.
Keywords: asphyxiated, caught by, lockout, caught between, conveyor, ship, containerized cargo, elevated work plat, unguarded, machine--misc
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 313179178 Fatality Asphyxia Occupation not reported

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