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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200370864 - Employee'S Leg Injured In Asphalt Hopper, Later Amputated

Accident: 200370864 -- Report ID: 0454510 -- Event Date: 02/10/2000
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30245121602/11/20009199City Of Lancaster- Public Works
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30242878402/11/20009199City Of Lancaster - Utilities
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30245114102/11/20009199City Of Lancaster- Public Works
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30242880002/11/20009199County Of Lancaster - Administration
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30242878402/11/20009199City Of Lancaster - Utilities
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30245121602/11/20009199City Of Lancaster- Public Works
Employees #1 through #3, all inmates on work release, and Employees #4 through #6, who worked for the city's public works department, were filling a utility cut with asphalt dispensed by a Pro-Patch asphalt patcher truck. When the asphalt level dropped too low inside the hopper, the job supervisor instructed Employee #1 to climb into the hopper and scrape or shovel asphalt from the sides down into the bottom. There was a rotating agitator at the bottom of the hopper that dispersed the asphalt to an auger that drove it out the chute. The truck's engine remained idling while Employee #2 disengaged the agitator control lever at the rear of the vehicle. After Employee #1 knocked the asphalt from the sides, Employee #2 asked and was told by Employee #1 that he was clear. When Employee #2 re-engaged the control, Employee #1's left leg became caught and entangled around the moving agitator. Employee #3, the driver, jumped out of the truck, saw what happened, and shut off the power while the supervisor called 911. The city fire department and county EMS responded. Employee #4, the fire chief, attempted to rescue Employee #1 by cutting the agitator with an oxygen/acetylene torch. By this time, Employee #1's leg was starting to be burned by the heat from the truck (which kept the asphalt warm and workable). Employee #5 instructed a coworker to bring over a backhoe and, using a chain attached to the bucket, lift the agitator off Employee #1's leg. A mistake at the controls of the backhoe caused the bucket to drop suddenly and strike, directly or indirectly, Employees #2 through #6; they sustained various sprains and strains, none of which required hospitalization. Some of those injured and several other rescuers continued working until they freed Employee #1. He was flown to the Augusta Burn Center with third-degree burns and multiple fractures to his left leg, which had to be surgically amputated below the knee.
Keywords: burn, fracture, rotating parts, work rules, hot asphalt, entangled, communication, hopper, leg
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 302451216 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported
2 302428784 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported
3 302451141 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Firefighting occupations
4 302428800 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Occupation not reported
5 302428784 Non Hospitalized injury Strain/Sprain Firefighting occupations
6 302451216 Hospitalized injury Fracture Occupation not reported

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