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Custodian dies in a confined space in a hospital laundry.

Massachusetts Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 91MA002, 1992 Feb; :1-3
A 33 year old man (victim) from the Dominican Republic died in a confined space in a hospital laundry. The victim was cleaning plastic debris off the inside of a laundry dryer with a chisel. He had entered the large industrial dryer through a small opening 25 inches by 40 inches propped open with a 2 by 4, and was not visible to other employees. The automated system was activated, delivering 200 pounds of wet laundry to this dryer, knocking the door closed, and beginning the 6 minute, heated drying cycle. The injuries sustained caused his death. The Department of Labor and Industries concluded that employers should take the following steps to prevent future similar occurrence: 1. Ensure that any machinery being cleaned or repaired is locked out or tagged out by the person doing the task. 2. Develop a confined space entry program with emergency rescue procedures, a permit system and a standby person assigned outside the confined space. 3. Reduce the need to enter a confined space for cleaning by eliminating or minimizing the delivery of inappropriate plastic materials to the washers and dryers. 4. Develop, implement and enforce a comprehensive safety program that includes at its core the training and direction of employees, in their own language, regarding safety and health hazards on the job.
Region-1; 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; Confined-spaces; Training; Machine-operation; Maintenance-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-91MA002; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-108704
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division