HomeEnvironmental Health & SafetySDS DatabaseSDS TrainingHot TopicsResourcesContact Us

At a storage system manufacturing facility in Georgia, two workers suffered finger amputations in two separate incidents within a 3-month period beginning in November 2014. Yesterday, we looked at the first incident; today, we’ll look at the second incident, in which a worker was standing up a fabricated metal rack. The 353-pound rack tipped over suddenly, knocking the worker to the floor, crushing his hand and causing the loss of his left index finger.​
Preventing Amputations: Securing Objects and Materials

By Jennifer Busick
Tuesday, July 25, 2015
OSHA determined that both injuries could have been prevented if the employer followed safety standards and provided the proper protection on equipment. In the second incident, OSHA found, the company had ignored safety standards by failing to secure the rack. ​

In order to protect workers against these hazards, make sure that you:

Anchor pieces of equipment that could fall, “walk” or shift, including:

oLarge equipment; 
oTall bookcases and file cabinets; and
oLarge tanks and gas cylinders.

Stack and store materials to prevent shifting, sliding, and toppling: 

oEnsure that stacks are stable and self-supporting;
oStack bags and bundles in interlocking rows to keep them secure;  
oStack bagged material by stepping back the layers and cross-keying the bags at least every ten layers (to remove bags from the stack, start from the top row first)
oStore baled paper and rags inside a building no closer than 18 inches to the walls, partitions, or sprinkler heads; 
oBand boxed materials or secure them with cross-ties or shrink plastic fiber; 
oStack drums, barrels, and kegs symmetrically; 
oBlock or chock the bottom tiers of drums, barrels, and kegs to keep them from rolling if stored on their sides;
oPlace planks, sheets of plywood dunnage, or pallets between each tier of drums, barrels, and kegs to make a firm, flat, stacking surface when stacking on end; and
oStack and block poles and other cylindrical materials to prevent spreading or tilting, unless they are in racks.

Securing Objects and Material Against Crushing Hazards

Workers can be crushed by objects and materials (as opposed to moving equipment like forklifts) when they are exposed to:

Unsecured objects that can shift, including storage shelving and cabinets that are not secured against falling, and equipment that is not secured against “walking” or similar       

Improperly stacked and stored materials that can shift, slide, or topple onto them.