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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201057635 - Employee Is Injured When Hands Burned By Steam Laundry Press

Accident: 201057635 -- Report ID: 0950642 -- Event Date: 07/15/2003
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30078257008/01/20037216New Era Cleaners
At 7:00 a.m. on July 18, 2003, Employee #1 was performing her duties as a press operator with New Era Cleaners, located in Pasadena, California. New Era Cleaners is an incorporated company that launders and presses clothing for the general public using laundry and dry cleaning equipment as well as industrial steam presses. Employee #1 has been employed with New Era Cleaners for 22 years. At the time of the accident, Employee #1 was operating two industrial steam laundry presses in the pressing area of New Era Cleaners. While one of the presses was operating, she would place another shirt to be ironed onto the second press. The press involved in the accident was an Ajax industrial laundry press, Serial Number SPHF3641572, which operates at a maximum temperature of 650 degrees Fahrenheit, and which has three separate ironing surfaces where the collar and two cuffs of a shirt are placed to iron them. While straightening the collar of a shirt on the center lower ironing surface, Employee #1 stated that the press activated and came down onto both of her hands. The press remained closed for approximately 30 seconds before it was released by another employee. Employee #1 was hospitalized with burns to both of her hands. Normal activation of the press is achieved with the use of two-hand controls. An on-site evaluation of these controls determined them to be concurrent but not simultaneous in operation. Employee #1 stated that she did not come in contact with the controls at the time of the accident, and that the press activated automatically. She also stated that the press had activated automatically on one other occasion, approximately two weeks prior to the accident. After the accident occurred, the press was examined by an outside maintenance person. Examination of the press, however, was limited only to simple operation tests and no other tests on the electrical, steam or pneumatic systems were performed. The owner of New Era Cleaners was Employee #1's direct supervisor at the time of the accident and was on the east side of the facility in the dry cleaning area when the accident occurred. Cal/OSHA has determined that the laundry press involved in the accident was not properly maintained in a safe operating condition, resulting in the activation of the head of the press without initiation by the controls.
Keywords: burn, machine operator, two-hand control, caught between, hand, ironing machine, press
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 300782570 Hospitalized injury Burn/Scald(Heat) Laundering and dry cleaning machine operators

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