SUMMARY : CASE 292-009-01
At a vegetable processing plant, a machine operator's foot was amputated while walking down a trimming line. On the trimming line the vegetables are cut to size, and the trimmings are dumped into a trough that runs along the floor. Inside the trough a metal auger turns like a screw, pushing the vegetable matter out of the trimming area. The trough is covered with heavy grates. Somehow, one of the grates covering the trough was not in place and the machine operator stepped or slipped into the turning auger, tearing off the left foot and ankle. The machine operator is not certain how the injury happened, and nobody was watching. Co-workers, and then the fire department, arrived quickly, stopping the machine and applying a tourniquet. The injured machine operator's foot was too badly mangled for the hospital to surgically reattach it.
How could this injury have been prevented?
Publication #: CDHS(COHP)-FI-92-005-11
was extracted from a series of the Nurses Using Rural Sentinal
Events (NURSE) project, conducted by the California Occupational
Health Program of the California Department of Health Services,
in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health. Publication date: May 1992.
The NURSE (Nurses Using Rural Sentinel Events) project is conducted by the California Occupational Health Program of the California Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The program's goal is to prevent occupational injuries associated with agriculture. Injuries are reported by hospitals, emergency medical services, clinics, medical examiners, and coroners. Selected cases are followed up by conducting interviews of injured workers, co-workers, employers, and others involved in the incident. An on-site safety investigation is also conducted. These investigations provide detailed information on the worker, the work environment, and the potential risk factors resulting in the injury. Each investigation concludes with specific recommendations designed to prevent injuries, for the use of employers, workers, and others concerned about health and safety in agriculture.
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