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Fourteen-year-old youth pulled into operating wood chipper - Florida.
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 2000-21, 2001 Feb; :1-6
On July 6, 2000, a 14-year-old youth (the victim) working as part of a tree-trimming crew was fatally injured while feeding a limb into a drum-type wood chipper. The youth, accompanying his father to work, had been dragging limbs and branches to the wood chipper to be processed by older workers. Although not assigned to do so, he picked up the butt-end of a 4- to 5-inch-diameter limb, laid it on the chipper's feed tray and began to push it into the chipper knives. The rotating knives caught the limb and it began feeding through the chipper. As the limb fed quickly into the chipper knives, a branch that projected perpendicularly from the limb struck the victim in the back. As the limb continued to feed into the chipper, it pulled him toward the rotating chipper knives. The victim may have attempted to "push off" from the machine but was unable to free himself from contact with the branch, and the limb pulled him into the chipper. The chipper drum jammed and came to a stop after the victim's torso had been fed into the machine. A coworker who witnessed the incident notified 911. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that to help prevent similar occurrences employers should: 1) ensure that supervision beyond that normally provided for experienced adult workers is available when youths are present on job sites; 2) ensure that workers involved in tree trimming operations are trained to recognize and avoid the hazard of being fed through an operating wood chipper; 3) prohibit workers less than 18 years old from operating or tending wood chippers; 4) consider using self-feeding wood chippers that incorporate devices to quickly shut off or reverse material feed.
Region-4; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Training; Occupational-hazards; Injury-prevention; Age-factors
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: July 16, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division