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City employee killed when clothing became entangled around an unguarded PTO shaft on a salt truck.

NIOSH 2005 Jul; :1-6
On January 26th, 2005 a 43-year-old male sanitation worker, employed by a city Department of Public Works (DPW), was killed when his sweatshirt became entangled around an unguarded Power Take Off (PTO) shaft on a salt truck. The truck had a broken bed chain (a conveyer belt used to transport salt to the rear of the truck) and had been in for service six days prior to the incident. The DPW mechanical crew repaired the bed chain and returned the truck to service but did not reinstall a shaft guard that covered the PTO shaft. At the time of the incident, the victim was alone operating the salt truck in the city's salt shed. There were no witnesses to the incident. It appeared that sometime between 3:50 p.m. and 4:10 p.m., when the victim walked to the rear of the truck to check the salt spreader, his orange safety sweatshirt was caught by the rotating shaft stub. At approximately 4:10 p.m., the victim was found by a co-worker. The salt spreader was still running and it appeared the victim had been strangled by the sweatshirt that had been tightened by the rotating shaft stub. The co-worker immediately turned off the machine and called two other workers for help. They freed the victim and placed a call to a DPW dispatcher. The fire department, police department, and ambulance service arrived within minutes. The victim was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, employers should: 1. Require maintenance staff to inspect and certify each piece of equipment before releasing it back into service after maintenance or repair; 2. Require operators or other competent persons to perform daily safety checks on mobile equipment prior to operating the equipment; 3. Develop a standard salt truck operating procedure that requires operators to turn off the machine while cleaning and unclogging the bed chain and; 4. Establish a safety and health management system that is responsible for implementing a comprehensive occupational safety and health program.
Region-2; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Clothing; Safety-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-05NY007; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-220784
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
New York State Department of Health. Health Research Incorporated