NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Sixteen-year-old produce-market worker dies from crushing injuries after being caught in a vertical downstroke baler - New York.

Burkhart JE
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 2000-19, 2000 Jul; :1-6
A 16-year-old male produce-market worker (the victim) died from crushing injuries after being caught in the vertical downstroke baling machine that he was operating. The victim, working alone in the basement of a small produce market, was crushing cardboard boxes when at some point in the compacting process he was caught by the machine's hydraulic ram. The victim was discovered by an exterminator spraying the basement, who notified the store manager to call police and emergency medical services (EMS). Subsequent examination by investigators revealed that the safety interlock had been bypassed, allowing the machine to operate with the loading door in the open position. The victim may have reached into the baling chamber during a compression cycle to adjust a tie wire or a liner box and was caught by the ram platen. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar incidents, employers should: 1) ensure that all safety devices on baling machines are functioning correctly and enforce proper operation; 2) ensure that employees, including management personnel, know and understand the importance of the machine's safety features; 3) comply with child labor laws which prohibit youth less than 18 years of age from operating or assisting to operate paper balers; 4) develop and implement a comprehensive employee safety program that includes training in the safe operation of machinery and the importance of the machine's safety devices.
Region 2; Accident prevention; Accidents; Occupational hazards; Occupational safety programs; Traumatic injuries; Training; Safety education; Safety monitoring; Safety practices; Safety programs; Age factors; Machine operators; Equipment operators
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division