An 18-year-old male chop saw operator (the victim) died when his right arm became caught in the roller mechanism underneath a conveyor belt. He was pulled into the roller mechanism and suffered compressional asphyxia and blunt force injuries. The victim had left his usual work station for a break. When he did not return on time, his supervisor began to search for him. He saw the victim's legs hanging from the conveyor belt and immediately ran to him and shut off the power to the conveyor belt, radioing a guard to call for emergency medical services (EMS). He and another worker then checked the victim for a pulse, but found none. EMS received the call at 12:02 a.m. and reached the scene at 12:10, but could detect no vital signs. EMS workers called the coroner and extricated the victim from the machine. The coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene. In order to prevent similar incidents, the KY FACE investigator recommends that:
- guarding should be placed around ingoing nip points created where conveyor belts run between rollers;
- workers should be trained to recognize and avoid hazards in the workplace; and,
- employers should develop, implement and enforce comprehensive written safety programs.
Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, "Factory Worker Entangled in Conveyor Belt Rollers" (1998). Fatality Case Reports--Other. 20.