On March 10th, 2004 a 32-year-old male department store employee sustained fatal injuries as a result of being crushed by the hydraulic ram of a cardboard baling machine. On the morning of the incident, the victim was operating the baler in the processing area of the store. At approximately 8:45 a.m., the victim added some cardboard pieces into the baling chamber to start another bale. He did not pull down and shut the safety gate before he pushed the "down" button to start baling. As the ram, a hydraulically-driven flat plate that exerted pressure on the material to be baled, started its down stroke, the victim suddenly climbed on the lower chamber door and extended his entire body into the baling chamber. He was crushed by the ram. Two associates working in the area stopped the baler and called 911. The EMS crew arrived at the site within minutes. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he died later the same day. The post-incident baler examination found that the safety interlock had been bypassed, allowing the machine to operate with the safety gate open. New York State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NY FACE) investigators concluded that to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, employers should: 1. Inspect all baling and compacting machines periodically to ensure that all safety features are functioning properly; 2. Develop, implement and enforce a baling/compacting machine safety program; 3. Provide training and ensure that employees, including management personnel, know and understand the importance of baler safety features and how they work, and that authorized operators follow the standard safety operating procedures and; 4. Follow the manufacturer's recommended schedule for baling machine maintenance. Additionally, the baling machine manufacturer should: 5. Ensure that baler operating manuals have clear guidelines relating to safety interlocks.
Region-2; 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; Training; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Department-stores