Blog Post #7 – Sawmill Worker’s Foot Amputated by Driveshaft

Two injuries, including a foot amputation, struck a Truro, Nova Scotia sawmill on August 4, 2010.

The first incident at the JD Irving, Ltd.-owned Truro Sawmill occurred just before 8 a.m. while a 46-year-old employee was adjusting a barrier on a moving conveyor, reports Kevin Finch, a spokesman for the Dept. Of Labour and Workforce Development in Halifax which is investigating the two accidents. The wrench that he was using slipped, and that pinched his left middle finger between the tool and the moving belt. The result was that he had a pinch injury to the finger, which moved the flesh just below the nail, Finch adds. The worker was taken to the hospital for the non-critical injury. The Labour Department ordered the conveyor be locked out until inspectors could determine that an adequate lockout procedure is in place.

The second incident took place later on the same day while a 48-year-old male worker was changing blades on a hog fuel chipping unit. He became caught up in the  power transmission shaft,  Finch says, reporting that the worker’s foot was amputated. The injury was not witnessed by any co-workers. Finch notes that the department issued a stop work order on the unit, as well as an assessment of the machine by a qualified person to make sure it was operating in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

The sawmill has a lockout procedure for the chipping machine, which involves de-energizing the equipment, locking out the controls, and waiting 10 minutes before any maintenance begins, Finch says. As part of the investigation, the department will determine if the procedure had been followed.

Remember “ In Ontario, ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Play’ and ‘Work’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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