NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

A computer support technician at a communications company in Texas died after being crushed in a stationary trash compactor.

Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
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 98TX071, 1998 Oct; :1-5
A 52-year-old, male computer support technician (the victim), at a communications company died after being crushed in a stationary trash compactor. The victim had gone to the company loading dock to look for a computer shipping box which had been mistakenly thrown into the trash compactor. He turned on the compactor using the key located in the switch. The compactor started its normal cycle and the ram inside the charging chamber raised to the up position. While the ram was at the top of its stroke, he leaned over the compactor's loading sill to look inside the machine. The ram moved down to complete its cycle, struck him on the back and crushed him against the loading sill. A co-worker who was nearby heard the victim groan, went to the compactor and found him. With the assistance of another co-worker, the victim was lifted out of the compactor while another co-worker called 911. The incident occurred at 10:00 a.m. EMS personnel arrived within minutes and found the victim was dead from his injuries. The TX FACE Investigator concluded that to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Ensure that workers are protected from the unexpected movement of machine parts by developing lockout/tagout procedures as required by OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.147 - Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout). 2. Establish an operating policy for trash compactors that includes training in safe operating procedures, identification of authorized operators, and measures to prevent unauthorized operation. Additionally, employers and owners of trash compactors should: 3. Ensure that the machines are properly equipped, inspected regularly, and maintained according to ANSI Z245.2 - Stationary Compactors Safety Requirements.
Region-6; 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; Machine-guarding; Machine-operation; Machine-operators; Training
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-98TX071; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-613936
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Texas Workers' Compensation Commission
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division