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Machine operator crushed by robotic platform.

Nebraska Department of Labor
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 99NE017, 2000 Jan; :1-7
A 23-year-old carousel operator, at a meat packing plant, was killed when his foot tripped a light sensor causing a computer controlled robotic platform to come down from above, crushing his skull. He had been watching a maintenance technician work on a conveyor and apparently stepped on the conveyor to get a better view of what the mechanic was doing. The conveyor the mechanic was working on had been shut off but the entire system had not been locked out. Power still remained to the light sensors and the robotic platform. When the platform came down it pinned the victim between the platform and the conveyor. When they lifted the platform off the victim, the victim fell approximately 15 feet to the concrete floor below. Death was most likely caused by the blow to the head from the robotic platform, not the fall. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The Nebraska Department of Labor Investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences employers should: 1. ensure all equipment is properly locked out/tagged out prior to performing maintenance on it. 2. consider implementing a spot inspection program to ensure all employees are complying with safety requirements. 3. develop procedures to ensure individuals not involved in maintenance activities are not in the immediate area of the maintenance being performed. 4. consider installing a protective grate around access areas to the robotic platform.
Region-7; 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; Safety-programs; Equipment-operators; Equipment-reliability; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Maintenance-workers; 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-99NE017; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-709864
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Nebraska Department of Labor
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division