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Metal conveyor belt slides down incline crushing supervisor - Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public 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 95IA027, 1996 Feb; :1-4
A 35 year old supervisor from an out-of-state manufacturing company was killed while he was overseeing the installation of a heavy metal conveyor belt at a recycling plant. This conveyor system was designed to move recycled materials from ground level to a new elevated sorting line. Installation workers were assembling the metal conveyor belt at ground level and pulling it up a 30 degree incline using hand operated winches. When the conveyor belt reached the top of the incline, the workers proceeded to rearrange their winches to pull the belt around the top roller. To hold the conveyor belt in place while adjusting they attached a safety chain to a 2" x 2" piece of angle iron which was welded temporarily to a 4" x 4" angle iron sweep on the conveyor. They had repeated the same procedure earlier when the conveyor was in lower positions without problems. However, at this time, because of jerky movements, the welded attachment point failed, and the entire conveyor belt immediately slid down the incline and bunched up on the ground level. The temporary weld was not able to withstand the added force from the heavy metal conveyor belt on the full length of the incline. The victim was standing on or walking over the conveyor at ground level when the weld failed. He was knocked down and dragged through a narrow space between the belt and the conveyor frame, causing extensive crush injuries to his truck and extremities. An ambulance was located across the street and arrived within two minutes, however due to the extent of his injuries, the man was dead on arrival at the local hospital. Recommendations following our investigation were as follows: 1. The manufacturer should establish a written procedure for safe installation and maintenance of conveyor belts, trying to identify dangerous times during the installation process. 2. The manufacturer should train all installation and maintenance workers to follow safe working procedures.
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; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Training; Management-personnel; Maintenance-workers
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-95IA027; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-708674
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Iowa Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division