OHSU Program Discusses On the Job Fatalities

Posted on Apr 03, 2015

Oregon Health Sciences University heads a program called Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, or FACE, in order to educate workers about on-the-job fatalities to prevent future similar accidents.

In one case, a construction worker was killed as result of leaning out of a forklift's protective cage. The guide reminded workers to stay inside the forklift's protective cage, and into not exit the forklift until the machine was powered off.  Common sense.

The second incident involved a mechanic who was burned to death while pouring gasoline on a fire at a logging site. The guidance reminded workers to use only correct materials to start and stoke a fire, and to provide training on safety handling of gasoline.

The third incident involved in auto salvage worker who died when a car that was not properly secured rolled off of the truck. The summary focused on making sure that the load was secured, making sure that workers are clear before releasing a load, and using a spotter to comminute with other workers involved with loading and unloading cargo.

We saw two common threads throughtout these reports.  First, these deaths were obviously preventable. The workers were not following well-established rules or customs. However, a random review of the reports is absent of any recommendations to employers on how to better take care of their workers. We have seen cases where the employer provides dangerous equipment or violates OSHA standards, resulting in serious injury or death. We commend these reports, but urge recommendations on employers to follow safety rules.