Lathe Operator Died When His Shirt Was Entangled on a 1 7/8-inch Piece of 1-inch Diameter Bar Stock
Michigan Case Report: 14MI034
Release Date: August 25, 2015
In spring 2014, a male lathe operator in his 20s died when his shirt became entangled on a 1 7/8-inch piece of 1-inch diameter bar stock. The decedent purchased the South Bend manufactured 16 inch lathe at an auction and placed the lathe in a dimly lit and congested area in the workshop near a shelving unit on a wall. The lathe had a pass through chuck. The work piece, a 1-inch round by approximately 3-foot long bar steel stock, had been cut to length with a band saw. A 1-7/8 inch piece of the bar stock extended from the end of the lathe (tailstock); its edge was sharp and had a burr. The bar stock was located approximately 46 ½ inches above floor level. It was not known why the decedent was at the tailstock of the lathe. Several possible incident scenarios have been developed: 1) he was leaning over the rotating tailstock to obtain a tool from the shelves behind the lathe or 2) he walked behind the rotating tailstock to obtain a tool from the shelves behind the lathe. At some point, the right pocket of his shirt was caught by the rotating tailstock burr. His shirt wrapped around the stock and tightened at the decedent’s neck and chest (Figure 1). A coworker working nearby heard a noise, looked over, and saw him. He ran outside and informed the decedent’s father. His father instructed him to shut off the generator which powered the unit and then they worked to remove the decedent from the entanglement. Emergency response was called and the decedent was transported to a local hospital, where he died approximately two weeks later from brain injury due to a loss of oxygen.