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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 202587861 - Carpenter'S Finger Amputation Is Traced To Lack Of Training

Accident: 202587861 -- Report ID: 0950614 -- Event Date: 10/22/2012
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31531969910/25/20121751R W Garage Doors, Inc.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on October 22, 2012, Employee #1, a carpenter employed by RW Garage Doors, Inc., was installing a new garage door at a private residence in San Leandro, CA. He was working alone, standing near the garage entrance, and cutting a piece of trim to custom fit the new garage door to the existing frame. The trim was a 3-foot to 4-foot long piece of 2-inch by 1-inch lumber, originally cut from a 16-foot long piece. Employee #1 was in the process of cutting the lumber using a Craftsman 14 Amp 7.25-inch Circular Saw, Model Number 320.10870. This was a left-handed saw that belonged to Employee #1, although he was right-handed. He was handling the saw in his left hand and holding the wood being cut with his right hand while kneeling down. While making the cut, Employee #1 was pushing the saw with his left hand and resisting the force with the wood in his right hand. He held the wood in an underhanded position, with his right thumb grasping the wood over the top, his palm supporting it from beneath, and his other fingers curling around the back. He planned to slide his hand around toward the back of the wood to move his hand/fingers further away from the saw blade. As he attempted to do this, the saw blade amputated his right hand's pinkie finger just past the first knuckle. He required hospitalization for the amputation. At 3:53 p.m. on October 23, 2012, the employer reported this event to Cal/OSHA. Employee #1 later told the Cal/OSHA investigator that he may have misjudged how close his hand was to the advancing blade, how far his fingers were crosswise to the blade, and the depth the blade was set to cut. From the interview with Employee #1, the investigator concluded that Employee #1's assessment of what he might have done differently to avoid injury was faulty. Specifically, Employee #1 did not utilize the following safe practices indicated in the Operator's Manual for the saw: "Do not reach underneath the work. Always clamp the work piece securely so it will not move when making the cut. Avoid awkward operations and hand positions where a sudden slip could cause your hand to move into the blade." According to the investigation report, the primary factor leading to this injury was the employer's failure to provide training to Employee #1. The employer was relying on the employee's past experience. This, in turn, led to the employee using poor and/or faulty judgment to assess the hazards involved.
Keywords: amputated, carpenter, finger, construction, circular saw, laceration, lumber, untrained
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Single family or duplex dwelling Alteration or rehabilitation Under $50,000 1
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 315319699 Hospitalized injury Amputation Carpenters

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