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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201146339 - Employee Amputates Fingers While Operating Microtome Machine

Accident: 201146339 -- Report ID: 0950631 -- Event Date: 12/02/2004
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30535534902/02/20053999Medtronic Inc
On December 2, 2004, Employee #1 was operating a Leica Microsystems, microtome machine, Model Number 2155, Serial Number 050231619. Her employer manufactures human heart valves and other related heart repair products. The microtome machine slices tissue samples that are embedded in a paraffin block, similar to a punch press, which then allows the samples to be viewed under a microscope. An adjustable knife is located on a stationary fixture below a specimen-holder clamp and moves up and down like a ram on a punch press. The stroke length of the knife is approximately 2.75 inches. The clamp holds the paraffin block and moves horizontally outwards in very small increments for each new slice, while cycling up and down. During each cycle the chuck scrapes the paraffin block against the fixed knife mounted horizontally at the base of the machine. As Employee #1 was setting up a paraffin block in the specimen-holder clamp, she inadvertently activated the machine through a foot pedal. Her left hand came into contact with the knife and the tips of her thumb and index finger on that hand were amputated. Employee #1 was hospitalized and treated for her injury, which included bone loss. The employer later modified the machine to operate through a hand control.
Keywords: knife, amputated, slicer, finger, foot control, machine operator, caught between, foot-powered press, punch press, puncture
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 305355349 Hospitalized injury Amputation Science technicians, n.e.c.

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