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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201034352 - Employee'S Finger Is Amputated In Roller Of Stacker

Accident: 201034352 -- Report ID: 0950635 -- Event Date: 07/23/2002
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30076337207/24/20023411Impress Usa
At approximately 9:34 a.m. on July 23, 2002, Employee #1 was working for an employer that manufactured cans for the fish and pet food industry. Employee #1 was adjusting the right tapered roller in the stacker by tapping it with a mallet. He waited until there was a break in the flow of metal sheets that were being stacked in the stacker box. Employee #1 was situated in the inner perimeters of the stacker box so he could have direct access to the right tapered roller. After tapping the roller, his right glove was caught, and his right hand was pulled into the in-running nip-point of the roller. Employee #1's right ring finger was amputated. Employee was hospitalized and treated for his injuries. The production process involved cutting, coating, forming of sheet metal into containers. Automated punch presses were used for cutting and forming while the coating process involved three coating machines, numbered 1, 2, and 3. The metal sheets were coated on both sides for hygiene and rust protection. The 220-ft-conveyor Wagner coating line is composed of a wet end, where the coating materials were sprayed onto one side of the sheet metal; a drying oven with chambers of different temperatures; and a dry end, where the coated and dried sheet metal was covered and stacked in the stacker box. From the stacker box, the cans were either being prepared for coating the other side, or strapped for cutting and forming. The tapered rollers in the dry end were held in place by one Allen head set screw, through a collar on the wider side of the roller. Through years of use, the right tapered roller on line 1 had been loose for as long as the Employee #1's coworkers could remember. The tapered rollers needed to be at a precise location on the shaft otherwise, a misalignment could cause scratches on the sheet metal. During a change over of the sheet metal sizes and the tapered rollers were readjusted. They were fastened in their position with the help of masking tapes to reduce movement during production. The tape was wrapped around the roller and the shaft. Even then, there were times when the tapered rollers still misalign during production. In order to readjust the position of the tapered roller, employees should call the mechanic and have the roller tightened and the Allen head set screw tightened. The whole line should have been shut down. To prevent scratching, prevent delay, and to avoid the hassle of calling the mechanic, a customary practice evolved among the stackers to align the tapered rollers, with the machine running, by "tapping" it with a mallet that was provided by the employer, or they would used a crow bar. This was done by waiting for a few seconds break in the production run, where there are no sheets passing through. Since the stackers were exposed to cuts from the sharp edges of the metal sheets, they wore appropriate thick gloves which were sometimes hard to remove. When faced with the need to "tap" the rollers, it was easier for them to hold the mallet with the gloves on their hand since they only had a small window of time to do the task. This exposed the employees to in-running nip-points of moving machinery while wearing gloves. The primary causal factors of the accident were: Employee #1 was wearing gloves around moving machinery and the machine was not de-energized during roller adjustment. A contributory causal factor of the accident was that employer failed to fix the loose screw (a component of the machine) which pre-empted the creation of the hazard.
Keywords: amputated, sheet metal, equipment operator, machine operator, caught by, roller--mach/part, nip point, punch press
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300763372 Hospitalized injury Amputation Machine operators, not specified

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