NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Industrial worker dies after being struck by a steel bar while operating a computerized turning center.

Minnesota Department of Health
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 96MN050, 1996 Sep; :1-4
A 30-year-old industrial worker died of injuries he sustained while he operated a computerized turning center (1) that produced metal components according to established specifications. During this type of operation, unfinished steel bars were automatically fed into the turning center by a pneumatic steel pipe bar feeder. The bar feeder also acted as a protective sleeve for the end of the unfinished bar that was not being machined by the turning center. The victim placed an unfinished bar inside the bar feeder and manually fed the bar into the turning center for production of the first component. After the bar was properly positioned, he slid the protective sleeve against the end of the turning center. He did not tighten three screws on a clamp that locked the protective sleeve in place. After the first component was completed by manual control, the operator switched the turning center to the automatic mode. The victim bent down and shifted a control lever to apply air pressure to the bar feeder. The bar feeder slid approximately four feet away from the turning center and exposed the unfinished stock. The uncontrolled free end of the spinning bar whipped around causing it to bend to the side and strike the victim in the head. An employee working at a nearby machine noticed the bar whipping around and ran over and pushed an emergency stop button to stop the computerized turning center. A call was placed to emergency medical personnel who arrived on the scene a short time later. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he died the following day. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, the following guidelines should be followed: 1. employers should ensure that industrial equipment is equipped with redundant safety stops; 2. employers should ensure that computerized turning centers contain an interlocking safety system; and 3. employers should design, develop, and implement a comprehensive safety program.
Region-5; 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; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Machine-shop-workers; Safety-programs
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-96MN050; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division