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A Massachusetts drill press operator strangled after his shirtsleeve was caught and tightened by rotating drill bit.

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 99MA033, 1999 Dec; :1-5
On June 16, 1999, a 57-year-old male supervisor/drill press operator (victim) was fatally injured after his shirtsleeve was caught by the rotating drill bit of the drill press he was operating. The rotating bit tightened the shirt around his neck, strangling him. The victim, working alone, was clamping eight-inch by eight-inch by half-inch thick steel plates to the drill press table while the drill bit was rotating. A co-worker was passing by and noticed the victim caught in the running drill press. The co-worker shut off the drill press as another co-worker arrived to help. Both co-workers were trying to hold up the victim while a third co-worker went to call for emergency assistance. The victim was transported to a hospital in a neighboring state where he was pronounced dead. The MA FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Guard moving machine parts to prevent employee contact with them. 2. Instruct employees to have the drill spindle engaged only when ready to start drilling. 3. Ensure that drill presses and similar equipment have emergency stops and convenient and accessible switches. 4. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety program that includes, but is not limited to, training on all equipment used to complete tasks.
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; Equipment-operators; Machine-guarding; Safety-programs; Training; Personal-protection; Clothing; Supervisory-personnel; Management-personnel
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-99MA033; 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: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division