The 30-year-old operator was fatally injured when the conveyor system of an asphalt mixing plant was activated while the operator was standing on the slatted conveyor belt. During a pause in the process of loading asphalt trucks, the employee climbed onto one of two conveyors to clean old asphalt from the belt and slats. The two conveyors carry asphalt components and interlace to mix the components prior to discharge into trucks. Although the plant machinery had been turned off, the power generator was operating. A coworker arrived at the plant and saw trucks waiting to be loaded. The coworker entered the control booth and activated all the plant machinery. As the plant started operating, the coworker heard an unusual noise and again turned off the plant machinery. The operator was found entangled in the conveyor. The interlacing conveyors had pulled the employee into the nip points of the conveyors and had shredded his body from the waist down. The operator was pronounced dead at the scene. The Colorado Department of Health (CDH) investigator concluded that to prevent future similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that all power sources are deactivated before operators make adjustments or clean machinery. 2. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program that includes a lock-out/tag out policy. 3. Install an equipment startup warning horn that incorporates a time delay on equipment activation. 4. Conduct a job-site survey on a regular basis to identify potential hazards, implement appropriate control measures, and provide subsequent training to employees that specifically addresses all identified hazards.
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