A 30 year old male Massachusetts lumber company/sawmill laborer died on April 29th, 1992, approximately one month after being struck in the head during routine maintenance operations. The victim was sweeping sawdust and waste wood debris from the floor of a sawmill chipper room when he struck his head on an operating chipper machine shaker table. Suffering a headache as a result, the victim left work in the middle of the day. Complaining of headache and nausea, the victim was admitted to the regional hospital the following day for treatment of a concussion, subsequently discharged, and cleared to return to work at a later date. Nine days following his return to work, the victim was again hospitalized and soon died from a brain aneurysm. The Massachusetts FACE Investigator concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Select and appoint a designated safety person to develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program that includes, but is not limited to, the use of head protection and the dangers associated with work in the lumber/sawmill industry. 2. Contact sawmill equipment manufacturer(s) to design or assist in the design of equipment safeguarding systems that would prevent employee exposure to blunt, moving, or revolving machinery parts. 3. Restrict use of nonessential, hearing prohibitive personal equipment when working in areas that are typically known to be significantly hazardous. 4. Develop and implement a medical monitoring protocol to ensure that employees suffering potentially dangerous injuries, especially blows to the head, seek immediate medical surveillance and determine, if possible, if all medical recommendations have been followed prior to authorizing return to work.
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-personnel; Safety-programs; Sawmill-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-workers; Medical-monitoring; Medical-screening; Medical-services; Medical-treatment