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An industrial washing machine operator died when pulled inside a machine while loading sheets.

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 01CA010, 2002 Jun; :1-7
A 28 year-old male industrial washing machine operator died when he was pulled inside a washing machine while loading sheets. The loading procedure requires a series of buttons on the control panel to be depressed that maneuvers the machine in different positions. One of these buttons is called the "basket button" that, when depressed and released, allows the washing machine drum to rotate approximately three revolutions. However, when the button is held in the depressed position, the drum will continue to rotate. The loading procedure for sheets was a two-person function. The supervisor was assisting with the loading of the first sling of sheets, and then left the victim to attend to another machine. The victim began loading the second sling of sheets by himself. Approximately five minutes later, the supervisor heard the victim yell and went to his aid. He found the victim inside the machine unresponsive. 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. Ensure employees do not attempt to work alone for those types of loads that require two people. 2. Consider changing the basket button to a switch that only allows the drum to inch forward with every activation.
Region-9; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Protective-equipment; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; 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-01CA010; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-907284
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division