Sunday, August 13, 2017

“multiple blunt force injuries...."

Some operations in our plants require multiple people (typically two workers) working together to perform a specific function. During these job functions the safety of one worker depends in some way on the other worker(s) actions. That is not to say that if one worker is injured or killed that their partner(s) is responsible but that if one worker forgets their training, skip steps, or they make assumptions an incident can occur. It is imperative that the teams of workers stay consistent. The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog has posted incidents where one worker filled in during a multiple worker operation and because of lack of experience, or insufficient training an incident occurred. Here is a recent incident:

A worker was killed in a workplace accident at a manufacturing plant in the USA this past week.

The worker died around 2:30 a.m. during the month of August 2017 from “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to the local County medical examiner’s office.

The worker was helping operate a machine that tapers aluminum pipe into flag poles and light poles, according to local Police Detective Sergeant.

“The employed associate was a well-liked, hardworking individual who always stepped up to help teammates and productions. We have the deepest condolences for the family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” Plant Manager said in a statement. “We’re working closely with our safety team, contracted experts in manufacturing, and OSHA. (The company) has a longstanding commitment to provide a safe workplace for the team.”

Another employee was operating the machine and the deceased worker was assisting. Though the deceased worker was wearing a hardhat, his injuries suggest the pole either hit him in the head or caused him to hit his head elsewhere, the police sergeant said.

“It could be three different things: It could be operator error, machine malfunction, or it could be something happened on the back end of the machine that [the assistant] wasn’t paying attention to,”a 19-year employee of the company who’s been retired for eight years, said.

The medical examiner’s office and OSHA are investigating the accident.

“He was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. You told him to go work here…to go work there, he’d do it.” a coworker of the deceased said. “He never complained, and that’s the part that really is upsetting to a bunch of us that knew him.”

We offer our sincere condolences to the deceased worker’s family, friends, and coworkers. Though we did not publish the deceased workers above. It was not done out of disrespect. We chose long ago not to publish the company name nor worker(s) name if the incident involves an injury or fatality. Our sincere hope is that but bringing attending to these incidents that we can prevent recurrence.

We hope that if your facilty has multiple people operations you will print this story out and use this incident as a toolbox talk. This incident can be used to reinforce the importance of always following your training, never skip steps, and never make assumptions. In addition this incident can be used by management to discuss with the workers who work as a team about the importance of good communication.

Recently, we were told by one plant manager that they ask their personnel to answer a simple (yet complicated) question: “During your job function, how could you get hurt?” We’ve spoken to other plant managers “Who will ask their workers; “During your day at work how could you get hurt?” These plant managers take the feedback and incorporate the comments to make their plants safer.

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