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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201951431 - Employee Amputates Fingers When Caught In Mixer

Accident: 201951431 -- Report ID: 0522000 -- Event Date: 02/04/1999
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
12198070004/07/19993443The Jos. Honhorst Co.
On February 4, 1999, Employee #1 was working as a steel fabrication and welding contractor. The employee was cutting a 2-in. diameter hole in the discharge (drainage) cone at the bottom of a vacuum dryer which measured 8 feet in diameter and 30 feet long. The employee then planned to weld a drain pipe to the hole he cut. The diameter of the cone opening at the base of the dryer was 1.5 feet in diameter. Although the employee had worked on various aspects of vacuum dryers in the past at this employer's site, the installation of a drain at this location was new. Because the cone and the inside of the tank were made of stainless steel and the employee was using a plasma arc to cut the hole, the employee pushed a welding blanket into the cone opening to protect the inside of the tank from receiving flash or slag from the cutting. When Employee #1 inserted the welding blanket, one of the mixer plows (paddles or blades) caught the blanket along with the employee's hand. The employee was hospitalized when his index finger was amputated at the third knuckle, along with approximately half of the thumb, and the tip of the middle finger. The employee did not know that, in preparation for start up, the host employer had turned on the mixer plows in the dryer several days earlier to ensure the plows did not scrape the lining of the tank before adding product. Performing a test of the dryer in this manner was normal procedure since there is only about 0.0625-in. clearance between the bottom of the plows and the inside of the tank.
Keywords: amputated, drain pipe, finger, work rules, welder, lockout, test equipment, unguarded live parts, untrained, arc welding
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 121980700 Hospitalized injury Amputation Boilermakers

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