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Hispanic yard worker dies after being pinned by a release of logs from a log stack - North Carolina.

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 2007-05, 2009 Jul; :1-6
On April 10, 2007, a 20-year-old Hispanic yard worker (the victim) was killed when he was pinned by a release of logs from a log stack. The victim climbed up on the log stack approximately 14 feet in height and was removing a plastic tarp covering when the logs released and rolled out of the stack. The unconscious victim was pinned from the waist down by a stack of logs. A saw operator found the victim lying in the log stack within approximately 15 minutes. The operator ran inside to the production "main" building to get assistance. The victim's father and some other workers ran outside to help. At the log stack a laborer yelled and told a maintenance worker to call 911 and to get a chain saw. The owner and some of the workers attempted to free the victim by cutting some of the logs. During this time, the victim was not breathing and he was unresponsive. Approximately 4 minutes later, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the county sheriff arrived on the scene and the victim was still pinned in the log stack. EMS took over the scene and provided directions for the removal of the remaining logs. EMS determined that the victim was not breathing and had no carotid pulse. A medical examiner arrived on the scene and pronounced the victim dead, and he was transported to the morgue. Key contributing factors identified in this investigation include failure to eliminate the need to climb on stacked logs and not having logs properly stacked and secured. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. Eliminate the hazards associated with the need to climb on stacked logs to apply or remove tarp coverings through an engineering control measure (i.e., using a permanent tarp cover on a fixed frame); 2. Ensure that logs are properly stacked, secured and maintained in a manner that minimizes worker exposure to injury from logs falling or rolling from the stack; 3. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive occupational safety and health program and provide worker training that includes hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe condition.
Region-4; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Logging-workers; Lumber-industry; Lumber-industry-workers; Racial-factors; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Training; Surveillance
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division