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Landscaper dies inside the hopper of a truck mounted pneumatic blower - Massachusetts.

NIOSH 2007 Mar; :1-10
On November 15, 2005, a 23-year-old male landscaper (the victim) was fatally injured when he became entangled in rotating parts of a pneumatic blower. Prior to the incident, the victim had just finished clearing a jam from the self-contained, truck-mounted, pneumatic blower's hopper and given his two co-workers the "thumbs up" sign indicating that the jam was cleared. The coworkers then restarted the material blower and returned to their task. The material blower then jammed again. The co-workers removed the hose from the material blower and shut down the truck. During this time the co-workers were unable to locate the victim. One of the co-workers climbed up to the top of the hopper to finish clearing the jam and found the victim entangled in the agitators and augers. The co-workers ran to a neighboring house and placed a call for emergency medical services (EMS). EMS responded to the incident site within minutes along with personnel from the local and state police and the Medical Examiners Office. The medical examiner pronounced the victim dead at the incident site. The Massachusetts Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive hazardous energy control program including a lockout/tagout procedure and training. 2. Ensure that machinery is operated in accordance with manufacturers' specifications. 3. Conduct routine hazard assessments of machinery to identify potential hazards to which workers are exposed. 4. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive program for work in permit required confined spaces, such as hoppers. 5. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program, which includes training on hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe work practices and conditions. Manufacturers of pneumatic blower equipment should: 6. Consider installing grid-shaped guards with interlocks at the top of pneumatic blower hoppers and over the auger and drag conveyor. Ladder locks to prevent unqualified workers from accessing the top of the hopper should also be installed if feasible.
Region-1; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Training; Ladders; Machine-guarding; Machine-operators; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Safety-programs; Forestry-workers; Hazards; Hazards-Confirmed; Work-operations; Work-practices; Workplace-monitoring; Pneumatic-tools
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-05MA074; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Health