NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Machine operator dies after becoming caught in a shirt pressing machine - Massachusetts.

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 02MA002, 2003 Dec; :1-8
On February 26, 2002, a 44-year-old female machine operator (the victim) was fatally injured when she became caught in the shirt pressing machine she was operating. The victim reached down into an opening in the loading table, became stuck, and called to a co-employee for help. While the co-employee was attempting to help the victim, the shirt pressing machine cycled, releasing the shirt from the pressing area, crushing the victim's right arm, right shoulder, neck and chest. Additional co-workers were also unable to free the victim from the machine and a call was then placed for emergency assistance. Personnel from the local and state police and the fire department were notified and responded to the scene within minutes. The Jaws of Life was used to free the victim from the shirt pressing machine and she was rushed to a local hospital were she was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts FACE Program concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, employers should: 1. Ensure that accessible and exposed mechanical hazards of a shirt pressing machine are controlled. 2. Ensure that shirt pressing machines are equipped with emergency stops. 3. Periodically perform equipment hazard analyses to ensure equipment is safe to operate. 4. Train equipment operators and employees on all aspects of the equipment, including functions that don't pertain to daily operation. 4. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive safety and health program that includes, but is not limited to, hazard recognition, safety training, and protocols to safely complete tasks. In addition, shirt pressing machine manufacturers should: 5. Design machines so moving parts are not exposed and accessible and emergency stops are linked to the pneumatic system. 6. Explore the possibility of reducing the force used to transfer the buck to and from the loading table and pressing head area.
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; Training; Machine-guarding; Equipment-design; Equipment-operators; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Women; Dry-cleaning-industry; Safety-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-02MA002; 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