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Press operator amputations: is risk associated with age and gender?

Jensen R; Sinkule E
J Saf Res 1988 Sep; 19(3):125-133
A study was made of amputation data among power press operators for the years 1979 to 1981 to determine whether certain press operators might have specific characteristics such as gender or age which render them more likely to experience such accidents. A review of accident data of 628 workers' compensation claims from 28 states analyzed indicated that sex was not a factor in the accidents, with no significant difference between number of accidents for men or women operating power presses. There did appear to be a much higher proportionate amputation ratio (PAR) for younger press operators. The largest PAR value, 5.0, was found for the youngest age group, representing operators age 18 or younger. The second through fifth youngest age groups were associated with the second through fifth highest PAR values in that order, with values ranging from 2.6 down to 1.6. A significant negative correlation was found between PAR value rank and age rank using Spearman's nonparametric rank order correlation procedure. The authors conclude that a possible explanation for this finding is a difference in after reach speed, as accidents occurring at this time during the operation of the machine occur in the younger operators. Another suggestion is that young operators may lack an adequate understanding of the press they are assigned to operate. Lack of sufficient skills or a willingness to take unnecessary risks are also suggested as possible explanations. It is recommended that employers with power press operations at their facilities make an effort to improve the training provided for workers, and that an assessment of the equipment in use also be made.
NIOSH-Author; Equipment-operators; Accident-analysis; Accident-statistics; Safety-research; Age-factors; Industrial-equipment; Machinists
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Journal Article
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Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: August 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division