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Sawmill unscrambler operator killed when struck by a board ejected by trim saw in Washington State.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
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 98WA060, 1998 Sep; :1-10
On February 15, 1998, a 43 year old sawmill "unscrambler" operator died of injuries sustained when he was struck in the chest with a 1" x 6" x 10' board, on the previous afternoon. The board traveled approximately 45 feet at a high rate of speed after being ejected from a "Trim Saw", striking the unscrambler operator at his workstation. The sawmill emergency team responded to the injured victim within minutes of the incident and placed a 911 call for assistance. The local community rescue and medical unit took charge of treatment for the injured individual at the site of the incident and then transported the victim to a local hospital. He died the following day. To prevent future similar occurrences, the Washington Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE) Investigative team concluded that employers should follow these guidelines: 1. Machine guarding should be in place to prevent exposure to the machinery and process materials. 2. When new or reconditioned equipment is introduced to the work place, a review of safety precautions should be conducted in conjunction with the equipment manufacturer. The review should include any and all regulatory compliance parameters that apply to the equipment and the operation of the equipment. 3. Routine hazard recognition audits/reviews should be conducted on a regular basis.
Region-10; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Equipment-operators; Equipment-design; Machine-operators; Machine-guarding; Engineering-controls
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-98WA060; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-013928
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division