Occupational Injury Report

Public Works Employee Fractures Arm

February 1, 2009

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A Public Work’s employee reported to work around 6:00 am on January 20, 2009. Around 6:30 am the employee removed the F650 plow truck which was backed into a snow drift/ bank. The employee drove the truck out of the snow, left it running, and proceeded to make sure all equipment was operating correctly. The employee noticed the chute above the sand spreader was plugged with snow and ice and the employee used a plastic ice scraper to push the snow down through the chute. There is a 9-12 inch opening at the top of the chute to the spreader. The employee had to reach around the rotating shaft (drives the hopper’s live bottom bed) to get the scraper into the chute. The shaft had an unused sprocket on it that grabbed the employee’s shirt sleeve.

While reaching around the shaft with his right hand his shirt sleeve was grabbed by the rotating shaft and sprocket which pulled his hand and arm around the shaft. A contractor heard the employee yelling and went to see what was wrong. The Public works employee instructed the contractor to shut down the truck to disengage the spreader and live bottom bin. Police, fire and rescue arrived on site and treated and transported the injured employee to the hospital.

Safety and Health Regulations and Standards

  • 29CFR1910.147 (c)(4)(i) No equipment specific lock out procedures
  • 29CFR1910.147 (C)(7)(iv) No training on lockout procedures
  • 29CFR1910.219(f)(3) Sprocket, wheel and chain not enclosed (guard missing)
  • Prevention Strategies

  • Training is essential; employees must understand what they are expected to do and how to do it correctly.
  • All rotating shafts shall be covered by shields to preventworkers from becoming entangled.
  • Discussion: Exposed rotating shafts are hazardous situations that can cause serious injury or death to workers. All rotating shafts that workers are exposed to should be covered by properly designed guards and shields. All equipment shields and guards should be kept in good condition and in place.

    Discussion: Shields and guards protect workers from moving components that can cause serious injury or death. All damaged or missing equipment shields and guards should be immediately repaired to provide workers adequate protection from rotating shafts and moving machine components. In addition, whenever any safety shields and guards are removed from equipment to perform necessary maintenance or repairs, they should be properly reinstalled before the equipment is used.

  • Operators should not wear loose-fitting clothing near operating machines.
  • Injury Data (National)

    Nearly 8,450 employees sustained injuries due to protected rotating shafts in 2005 according the US Bureau of Labor Standards.

    Information on training requirements, safety and health standards and rules can be found on our webpage at:


    The Maine Department of Labor provides equal opportunity in employment and programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.