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FACEValue: Mechanic crushed by bin destacker

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Case report: #71-165-2017*
Issued by: Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: December 2014

A 34-year-old mechanic was performing maintenance on a bin destacker when part of the machinery came down and crushed him. The victim was working alone, changing a hydraulic cylinder on the bin destacker. Although he turned off the machine before starting work, residual energy was in the hydraulic line. For an unknown reason, the worker raised the forks and climbed onto the rollers to access the pressure fitting on the hydraulic line. He used a wrench to release a pressure fitting that then disconnected the hydraulic line. Without the hydraulic pressure, the forklift assembly, weighing about 700 pounds, came down and crushed him.

To help prevent future occurrences:

  • Conduct a job hazard analysis of machinery and equipment, processes, and tasks to identify potential hazards.
  • Develop written operating procedures for machinery.
  • Develop and enforce written lockout/tagout procedures specific to each machine.
  • Ensure employees perform appropriate lockout/tagout procedures to control hazardous energy before conducting maintenance.

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