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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201044831 - Employee Is Crushed When Hydraulic Line Failed, Later Died

Accident: 201044831 -- Report ID: 0953220 -- Event Date: 08/17/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31600470408/17/20122951Aggregate Industries-Swr, Inc.
On August 17, 2012, Employee #1 a heavy-duty repairperson, was closing the upper rear frame of the plant impact crusher when a hydraulic line failed. As a result, the upper rear frame retracted pinning the employee against the upper front frame. Employee #1 suffered severe wounds to his body. A coworker discovered Employee#1's body trapped between the upper rear frame and upper front frame of the crusher. In an attempt to free the employee, the coworker tried to open the upper rear frame. To do so, he had to energize the hydraulic pump, which could only be accomplished first by removing the employee's lock on the main power source to the recycling plant. Upon energizing the main power circuit, the coworker began working the lever of the hydraulic pump to open the upper rear frame of the crusher. At that, time heavy equipment mechanic coworkers arrived on the scene. One coworker directed his attention to the hydraulic pump where he observed the sight gauge indicating it to be empty. The coworker informed the other coworkers of the situation then climbed up to the crusher to see if he could find a place to insert a jack to prop open the frames. After doing so, the coworker set out in the direction of the nearby hot plant retrieving a 20-ton jack. The coworker was instructed to wait for the fire department, which had already been notified. The coworker also put out a call for the plant fuel truck so the rescuers could refill the hydraulic pump, then radioed for the plant crane to come and open the crusher. By the time the crane was in position, the fire department had arrived and said not to disturb the scene until after they examined Employee #1. Shortly thereafter, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department secured the site. On the under belt conveyor, remnants of a shiny liquid marked the path of hydraulic fluid that burst through a 0.50 in. hole in the hydraulic line and traveled down the conveyor before spilling onto the ground. The depletion of hydraulic fluid in the lines caused a rapid drop in pressure, thereby subjecting the upper rear frame of the crusher to the forces of gravity. Makeshift frame supports two pieces of 2 by 2 in. square tubing and one piece of round pipe were lying on the catwalk that surrounded the crusher. The pipes were used to prop open the upper rear frame to prevent it from closing unexpectedly. In addition, a steel 12.5 in. deep socket 4.5 in. in diameter was wedged in the opening at the bottom between the two frames. The deep socket, which was used for adjusting the bolts to the primary and secondary apron assemblies, prevented the upper rear frame door from closing completely. Employee was transported to an area hospital, where he was treated for a crushing injury to his chest. Employee #1 later died.
Keywords: chest, hydraulic ram, hydraulic jack, hydraulic fluid, mechanic, crushed, crusher, hydraulic press, mech malfunction
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 316004704 Fatality Other Occupation not reported

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