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Steel mill supervisor pulled from catwalk by contact with belt conveyor.

Michigan State University
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 08MI003, 2009 May; :1-11
On January 11, 2008, a 39-year-old male steel industry supervisor died when he was pulled from a catwalk, struck against a conveyor system support structure and fell to the floor below. The decedent was pulled from a catwalk located approximately 11 feet above the floor when the air hose to the 10-foot long metal pipe (stinger) he was using to blow debris from a nearby non-operational conveyor table and rollers located parallel to the catwalk caught between a belt conveyor and an idle roller. He struck the framework at the mounting point of the belt conveyor tension roller and fell to the floor below. The unguarded belt conveyor was located 72 inches above the catwalk and then turned downward from above the catwalk 25 inches away from the 42-inch standard rail of the catwalk. Facing the non-operational conveyor, with the stinger/air line placed over his shoulder, he passed under the belt conveyor and its idle roller, which was located behind him. It appeared that the stinger/air hose became entangled in the belt conveyor's idle roller, drawing the decedent over the catwalk handrail where he struck against the framework supporting the belt conveyor and its tension roller. The decedent then fell to the floor. The air hose and stinger, his hard hat and his respirator were found jammed between the framework and the tension roller. One of the crewmembers standing in another area of the building looked in and saw him lying on the floor. Another crewmember used the decedent's radio to call for help. Because of the excessive noise in the building, it was necessary for this coworker to exit the building to summon help. Another crewmember ran for help. The company's emergency response personnel were the first to arrive and began emergency treatment. The city fire department rescue squad was the next to arrive. After the fire department called in the decedent's condition to a local hospital, he was declared dead at the scene. Recommendations: 1. Employers should provide guards on conveyor belts at all in-running nip points where employees may be at risk of contacting moving/rotating parts. Company safety management should develop a risk assessment protocol for prioritizing work orders that concern safety issues. 2. Employers should ensure all workers are trained to recognize and avoid hazards in the workplace. 3. Employers should determine if there are feasible alternative methods to using compressed air to clean conveyor systems. 4. Employers and workers should work towards developing a "positive" safety culture for their workplace. 5. Employers should ensure that personal protection program policies are followed.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Equipment-design; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-education; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Manufacturing; Machine; Belt Conveyor; Entanglement
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-08MI003; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466
Priority Area
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Services
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Michigan State University
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division