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FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES in Tables 1 and 2 showing cause and injury relationships within departments. Of those accidents investigated, the area where the high- est number occurred was on press (41 percent), followed by postpress (31 percent) and warehouse (17 percent). As expected, most of the injuries were crushing and amputation. However, there were 31 fatali- ties in the industry---16 percent of all documented cases. Warehouse material han- dling resulted in the most fatalities (34 percent) of any single department primarily from forklift-related accidents. Postpress had a fatality rate of 12 percent, followed by the press (5 percent). The remain- ing fatalities (41 percent) were not specifically attributed to any one area or did not have equipment-related circum- stances, such as heart attacks. Crushing accidents were highest in the pressroom, followed by postpress. Accident descriptions for crushing accidents generally identify the employee contacting an ingoing nip point on equip- ment in setup, adjustment, or cleaning mode. Fingers, wrists, or arms described as crushed were not so severely damaged to require surgical amputation, but did cause disfigurement and/or permanent disability. These areas, press and post- press, had approximately the same number of amputations during the period. This is not unexpected considering pro- duction equipment with similar hazards are used in both de- partments. Most of the amputa- tions were finger severing on ingoing nip points (sprockets, chains, rollers) or sharp surfaces (slitters, cutters). Again, this is not unexpected. But when re- viewing accident descriptions, a significant number of finger, wrist, and elbow amputations were generally a result of crushing followed by surgical amputation. Although crushing frequency is less than half of amputations when identified as the sole type of injury in the data set, it is still a significant factor in amputations, particularly wrists and elbows. Only 5 percent of all the documented cases have inadequate Total Number Percentage of Total Known Causation Operator Error 157 83 No Lockout 15 7 Inadequate Guards 9 5 Other (unidentified) 9 5 Type of Injury Fatality 31 16 Amputation 76 40 Crushing 27 14 Other Injuries 56 30 Note: Other injuries are those not included in the specific injury categories and were often not equipment related. Table 1: Recordable Incidents by Known Cause & Type