On October 23, 2002, a 41 year-old male (decedent) died after he was hit in the head with the handle of an auger. He was part of a four-member work crew tying water lines of private residences into a municipal water line. He was injured while backing the auger out of the hole and the handle became tangled with the rotating auger bit which caused the handle to flip up and strike him in the head, twice. After being struck, with co-workers following him trying to convince him to sit down, he walked away from the site until emergency rescue workers arrived and convinced him to sit down on a stretcher. He was transported to a local hospital then air lifted to a larger facility where he died five days later from a closed head injury.

To prevent similar incidents from occurring, KY FACE recommends:

  • Employees should practice safe operating procedures when using dangerous equipment.
  • Equipment manufacturers should re-evaluate the design of the handle to direct auger bits and research the possibility of a new design.

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Notes/Citation Information

A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

02KY127_Summary.pdf (19 kB)
Case Summary