Trash Compactor Fatality

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Man Killed in Industrial Accident
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH-TV) - One person has been killed in an industrial accident on the east side. The accident happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday at World Media Group located at 6737 E. 30th St. in Indianapolis.

A Waste Management worker was inside of a trash compactor when the machine was turned on by someone. That person was unaware the worker was inside. In a police report, the victim has been identified as 41-year-old Hugo Ramirez-Arreola.

Police say this was an accident and no charges are expected.

This incident highlights one of the safety absolutes that we must follow each and every time:

Lockout Tagout – Anytime we perform maintenance on a machine, are in the line of fire from movement of an automated process, or enter a machine we must have personal and absolute control over the energy sources to prevent the machine from activating.

There is no doubt that the employee who activated the compactor had no idea that someone was within the compactor working on it. However the outcome is the same, a 41 year old man is dead and the employee who activated the compactor will feel unnecessary guilt for the rest of his life.

This type of incident truly isn't unique. Every year you can read about people injured or killed in trash compactors and each DAY you can read about people who are injured or killed from unexpected moving equipment. The only way to prevent these types of incidents is to ensure you have control when exposed to the hazard. In most cases that is putting your personal lock on the electrical disconnect or other energy isolation device.

How about you? Do you lock it out each and every time? If you don't, this is the type of disaster you are flirting with. Make it home safe – every day.

This toolbox topic was reviewed by ______________________________________ on ___________________________ with the following employees: