Worker Crushed by Log Splitter
A 73 year old part time worker was very nearly killed when he inadvertently activated the ram of the log splitter he was sitting on when his overalls caught the control lever. The ram crushed him into the splitter of the machine (pictured) resulting in massive internal injuries including crushed pelvis and torn perineum.
The court heard that the manual controls were laid out in such a way that it was possible for the operator to get caught between the ram and the wedge or the logs while operating the controls. In addition there was no device to hold the logs in place which meant it had to be done by hand.
The HSE Inspector stated that
“A suitably positioned control device that had to be operated with two hands would have stopped this happening”
Whilst the circumstances of this accident are unusual, people being trapped in machinery where one handed operation of the controls situated where the operator can also be caught is fairly common.
If you have a log splitter like this consider a replacement or at l east an adjustment to the operating lever so that an accident like this cannot possibly occur