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DATE: April 17, 2003

INCIDENT TYPE: Serious Injury

LOCATION: District 9

TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Removing plow from 10-yard truck

THE ACCIDENT: On Thursday, April 17, 2003, at approximately 8:30 A.M., two employees were at a Maintenance yard working on a plow and head frame on a 10 yard truck. The truck was positioned on a level, dry surface. They had removed the plow and were in the process of raising the head frame to a travel position. One employee was using a long pry bar to lift the head frame while the second employee was in the process of adjusting the safety chain to the correct length for travel. The pry bar slipped and the head frame fell, pinching the second employee's fingertip between the chain and the frame. The employee received a crush amputation at the distal joint of the middle finger of his right hand. The employee, along with the glove he had been wearing, was transported to a nearby medical facility. It was determined that the fingertip was not in a condition to be surgically reconnected. The employee underwent surgery to suture the tip of the finger closed. He was released from the hospital that afternoon and was instructed by the physician to be off of work for at least one week before he could be released to modified duty.

CONCLUSIONS: The employees were performing the job task in the usual manner. The employee could have prevented the injury by not placing his fingers under the chain in a pinch point.

RECOMMENDATIONS: All employees should always follow the Code of Safe Operating Practices, Section III, page 6, when dealing with plows and their related parts. Special attention should be placed on the use of jacks and blocks to position and stabilize parts before they are worked on.




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