Experienced Journeyman Machinist Killed While Operating an Engine Lathe

Oregon Case Report:12OR018
Release Date: April 2014

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.


A 69-yr-old journeyman machinist with over 30 years of experience was killed while operating an engine lathe. The victim was using the lathe to shape an eccentric shaft. When he reached over the work piece to smooth out a radiused transition with emery cloth and a file in hand his loose clothing (left arm sleeve) became entangled around the rotating work piece near the lathe tailstock. He was pulled into the part and suffered multiple fractures to his left arm and injuries to the neck and chest as he was struck repeatedly by the eccentric shaft. A co-worker rushed to his aid and instinctively pushed the red button on the lathe to stop the machine. However, the red button was not an emergency stop and the machine continued. The victim was lifeflighted and died enroute to the hospital. The co-worker suffered non-life threatening injuries.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015