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Truck driver suffocates in saw dust bin in Pennsylvania.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 86-19, 1986 Mar; :1-5
A 22 year old self employed truck driver had an agreement with a local sawmill to remove sawdust from the facility on a regular basis. On the day of the accident, he drove his truck underneath the auger that dispensed the sawdust. This auger was mounted 5 feet above ground level on the side of the sawdust bin. When the driver turned the auger on, very little sawdust came out. After turning off the auger, the victim entered the sawdust bin from a height of 22 feet with a pole which he frequently used to knock the sawdust from the walls and into the auger path. He did not attach a safety line even though one was provided at the entry to the bin. He was working in the bin when the sawdust under him gave way and he was buried. Two hours passed before the accident was noticed. His death was considered to be due to asphyxiation. Recommendations arising from this accident include: all safety equipment provided at a worksite should be used; a standby person must be used when working in a confined space containing unstable material; installation of an electrical interlock system in the facility should be explored; and facilities whose operations include entrance to a confined space should develop comprehensive policies and procedures for entry and emergencies.
NIOSH-Publication; Region-3; FACE-86-19; Safety-practices; Confined-spaces; Sawmill-workers; Truck-drivers; Lumber-industry-workers
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division