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Serious Hand Injury - Manual Material Handling

Two workers were trying to remove an approximately 150lb pipe section from a tight corner with difficult access. They had tried to break down the section further by removing the attached gate valve, but the bolts to the valve were seized due to age and corrosion. The workers attempted to drag the section through a narrow aisleway to a waiting skid and pallet jack for removal from the area. The employees, one on each end, began dragging the pipe section, when the employee on the front end was approaching the narrow aisleway, the other employee warned him of his approaching a hot condensate line. When the front worker began to reposition himself around the line, he had his hand resting on the pipe section, in between the pipe section and adjacent concrete wall. As he was moving, the worker holding the load from the back end let go, thinking the pipe section was resting stabley on the ground. The section suddenly shifted under its own weight, and the front end of the pipe section pinched the left hand of the worker repositioning himself on the front end of the pipe. His hand was caught between the pipe section and the concrete wall, requiring treatment beyond first aid. The worker was wearing safety-rated protective leather gloves at the time of the injury.

Lessons learned:

-Importance of thorough communication before, during, and after work activities. 
-Increased awareness of pinch points, lifting partners body positioning, Line of fire for body placement
- Ensure stability of a load before letting go.

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