A punch press operator dies when struck by a piece of metal in the abdomen.
Public Health Institute
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 00CA008, 2001 Mar; :1-3
A 39 year-old male machine operator died when he was struck in the abdomen by a piece of metal that came from the punch press he was operating. The decedent was using the machine to center punch holes into metal plates when the incident occurred. The machine guarding was in place but was not properly adjusted. According to the owner of the company who witnessed the incident, the machine made a strange noise during the punch cycle just prior to the incident. The owner said he yelled at the decedent to stop when he heard the noise. The decedent looked at owner, bent over to look at the machine, then stepped on the machine pedal. This caused the punch to punch through a steel plate then engage the edge of the hole in the misaligned die. The hydraulic pressure on the punch finally forced the punch into the hole in the die. A half moon shaped piece from the edge of the punch sheared off and shot out from underneath the steel plate striking the decedent in the abdomen. The machine manufacturer recommends documented scheduled maintenance on the machine, which the employer could not verify. The employer did not have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program, or a documented training program for machine operators. The CA/FACE investigator determined that, in order to prevent future occurrences, employers, as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) should: 1. Provide a program of documented scheduled maintenance on the machine in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. 2. Provide a program of documented training and safe work practices.
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