Machine operator dies after head crushed in machine

Oregon Case Report:06OR026
Release Date: October 2007

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On March 30, 2006, a 38-year-old production machine operator was fatally injured while making adjustments to a flatbed thermoforming machine at a plastics manufacturing company. The machine operator and a coworker were making final adjustments on the oven and platen stop of the machine to run a different product. The machine operator rolled out the oven and began working inside the oven cavity while the coworker made adjustments to the top platen, about 4 feet away on the opposite side of the oven. After calling the warning “clear,” the coworker lowered the platen by activating a pneumatic toggle, so he could make a final adjustment. Discovering a small part was missing, the coworker climbed off the machine and looked for the machine operator. He found him injured under the machine. The coworker called on his cell phone to the supervisor for help, and 911 was called. The victim was taken to a hospital and underwent several surgeries. He remained in a comatose state until his death 53 days following the incident.

Machine operator dies after head crushed in machinepdf icon [PDF 181 KB]

Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015