Monday, April 23, 2018

"injured by a multi-ton fire door...(succumbed to his injuries)"

It is our hope that by posting incidents on this blog we educate the reader on hazards that they previously may have been unaware of. Here is a recent incident of a hazard present in many facilities but few may know the hidden danger:

An aluminum employee who was killed in an accident at the plant in the USA one morning during the week of April 8, 2018 according to the local County Coroner.

The worker was working on a metal oven door when it “suddenly and unexpectedly fell, pinning his legs beneath it,” said the spokesperson for the aluminium company.

 “First responders did everything in their power to limit the effects of the employee’s injuries, but he later died from his wounds,” said the spokesperson for the aluminium

“Words cannot express the deep sorrow this entire facility feels for the family and loved ones of our dear colleague,” said the plant manager. “We are reaching out to the family to support them during this difficult time and offering counseling to our colleagues at work.”

The aluminium facility has more than 350 people working in the casting, extrusion, finishing and fabrication of aluminum extrusions.

As a result of the accident, the casting operation area of the plant was temporarily shut down, the plant manager said. The portion of the plant where the accident occurred will remain idle until the company is confident that it is safe to resume operations, she said. Operations have resumed in other sections of the plant.

The company is undertaking a thorough investigation of the accident and its causes, said the spokesperson for the aluminium company. The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration is also investigating and the aluminium company is cooperating in that investigation, she said.

“The safety of our employees is our number one priority at (Company name),” said aluminium company president. “The company will be reviewing its safety practices to determine if any changes should be made to current procedures. Our goal is to ensure these types of accidents don’t happen again."

OSHA’s investigation must be completed within six months under federal law, said OSHA spokesman.

First and foremost we offer our sincere condolences to the deceased worker’s family, friends, and coworkers. Our following comments are not meant to place blame on the worker nor the company. Nor is us posting this incident meant to disrespect the deceased worker or his family. We post incidents such as this with the sincere hope that by publicizing this incident we can prevent recurrence of this incident.

It is our hope that our observations can provide some sort of guidance for the reader to consider when looking at their overhead doors. The news media does not state if the “oven door” is for a homogenizing furnace or not. Regardless, on our plant tours we have seen that large oven doors attached bey either cables or chains. There have been numerous incidents where the cable/chain was attached by an all-thread turnbuckle. Overtime the all-thread can loose and let go. We recommend that the cables or chains holding large doors are engineered that they cannot loosen.


Our other observation is that older furnace doors are designed without locking pins to prevent the accidental release while being worked on. We have seen companies who have retrofitted devices that can swing around when the door is in the up position. These devices could have prevented incidents where maintenance workers were trapped in furnaces.

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