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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202454021 - Employee Amputates Hand In Wood Chipper

Accident: 202454021 -- Report ID: 0950642 -- Event Date: 08/01/2007
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31048884609/10/20070783West Coast Arborists Inc
On August 1, 2007, two employees were feeding palm fronds into a brush chipper that was filling the back of a haulage vehicle at a work site. The employer is a tree trimming and horticultural service. The brush chipper was manufactured by Vermeer, Inc., (Model Number 1600A, Serial Number 1VRC11151S1000984), with an employer-designated shop number of C38. The site foreman had climbed the trees and was cutting the fronds which fell to the ground. The foreman was moving on to trees located around the corner from where the chipper was sited to begin to trim other trees when another foreman arrived at the site. At this point, the chipper became jammed with fronds and had to be cleaned out. So, the two employees operating the chipper turned the engine off and disengaged the clutch as per company policy. They had to wait for the chipper blade drum to slow to a stop, which required several minutes. The second foreman, who had arrived later, went over to the operation and inquired why the chipper was being shut down. The employees replied that the unit required unjamming. The second foreman walked away. At some point after this, the two employees began to open the bottom of the chip chute to expose the blade drum, so they could begin to clear out the jammed palm fronds. Employee #1 stated that all he remembered was reaching up into the upper portion of the blade drum area, when the accident occurred. But, at some point, contact was made with the rotating blade drum, causing the full amputation of the right hand. Employee #1 was hospitalized.
Keywords: amputated, drum, caught by, jammed, chipper, blade, hand
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 310488846 Hospitalized injury Amputation Laborers, except construction

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