NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Massachusetts woodworker dies when struck by knife launched from overhead router.

Massachusetts 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 95MA020, 1995 Dec; :1-7
On June 21, 1995, a 32 year old male woodworker was fatally injured when a steel tool knife was propelled from the overhead pin router he was operating. The victim, a tool grinder and setup man, had just sharpened the tool knives from the router. According to co-workers, the victim, working alone in a room, had fastened the knives into the holder, inserted the tool holder into the router and had just started the machine when they heard a loud noise. The co-workers entered the room to find the victim slouched against the wall approximately 25 feet from the router. A tool knife had launched from the router, perforated the victim's chest and ricocheted around the room. Emergency medical assistance was immediately summoned and the victim was transported to a local hospital emergency room where he died of his injuries shortly after arrival. To prevent future similar occurrences, the MA FACE Director concluded that employers should: 1. Ensure that tooling for woodworking machines is used on the machinery intended by the tool designers. 2. Ensure that machines are adequately equipped with tool guards wherever possible. 3. Design, develop and implement a comprehensive safety program that includes, but is not limited to conducting periodic hazard analyses for each job classification, and employee training on hazards in the use of high speed woodworking machinery Additionally, tool manufacturers should: 4. Ensure that multipart (insert) tool holders are properly designed to hold tool knives securely. 5. Ensure that tooling for woodworking machines are clearly labeled with their maximum permissible spindle speeds for which designed.
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; Industrial-hazards; Woodworkers; Woodworking; Woodworking-equipment; Woodworking-industry; Equipment-reliability; Machine-guarding; Machine-shop-workers; Machine-tools; Safety-programs; Training; Warning-signs
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-95MA020; 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