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Operator crushed between a rotating barrel and its hoist support bar.

Michigan State University
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 01MI003, 2001 Aug; :1-6
On January 20, 2001, an 18-year old male died from crushing head injuries sustained when he was pulled into the hoist support bar of a rotating barrel by the rotation of the barrel. He was the operator at the unload station of a barrel plating operation. The hoist supporting the barrel placed the barrel containing the plated parts onto a cart that transported the barrel from the last plating station to the unload station. Approaching the unload station from the right, a tab on the barrel contacted a wire on a limit switch that stopped the barrel rotation so that two doors on the barrel were facing the operator. He removed the two doors from the barrel and pushed two palm buttons on a control panel to the right of the station so the barrel continued, moving right to left, to a dump station. At the dump station the barrel rotated so the parts fell onto a conveyor belt through the door opening. After emptying, the barrel rotated clockwise to find its correct position for door replacement and returned to the operator's station. The tab on the barrel contacted the wire on the limit switch to stop the barrel's rotation for door replacement. Although this was an unwitnessed event, the following event sequence was based on the operator's resting position. As the barrel was returning to the operator's station after dumping the parts, the victim reached into the barrel to remove some parts that had not fallen out at the dump station before it had completely returned to the door replacement position and while it was still rotating. When he reached into the barrel, his left sweater sleeve caught on something inside the barrel. The limit switch apparatus did not function, so the barrel continued to revolve instead of stopping as it was supposed to. As the barrel continued to rotate, it pulled the victim between the barrel and the hoist support bar, crushing his head. The first person to notice something wrong saw the operator caught between the barrel hoist support bar and the barrel. Police and rescue personnel were called immediately. His body was pried out of the equipment and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Review the design characteristics of the holes in the barrel to ensure that parts tumble out freely when it is tilted. 2. Guard moving parts at equipment point of operation. 3. Allow time at the beginning of each shift for the operator to perform a check of equipment to ensure that all machinery is operating correctly. 4. Establish a written schedule for conducting preventive maintenance on critical parts of the system. 5. Place a warning sign on the equipment depicting the potential danger of the body or clothing becoming entrapped in moving portions of the machinery. 6. Do not allow operators to wear loose clothing while operating moving equipment.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-5; Work-practices; Safety-clothing; Work-analysis; Work-clothing; Work-operations; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Equipment-operators; Signaling-systems; Machine-operators
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-01MI003; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-521205
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division