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Paint Blasting Mishap Kills MT Worker

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Authorities are investigating the death of a Montana man who was struck in the head and killed by a part from an abrasive blasting machine while he was removing paint.

Keith J. Carlson, 24, died at 12:12 p.m. Tuesday (May 10), less than an hour after he was injured on the job at the YESCO sign shop in Helena, MT.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

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From noise to falls to respirable dust, abrasive blasting involves a variety of hazards. NIOSH guidelines and OSHA regulations address many blasting risks.

Carlson was using rented blast equipment to remove paint from floor grates when a filler lid from the blasting tank dislodged under pressure and struck him in the head, authorities said. He never regained consciousness.

Operator Error Considered

Lewis & Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson told a local TV station that Carlson had died of a traumatic head injury. Initial indications point to operator error as the cause of the accident, Nelson said.

He said Carlson was unmarried and had worked at the company for several years.

The type of equipment was not known, and no further details were available. The shop owner was unavailable for comment Thursday, and OSHA does not discuss current investigations.

About the Company

YESCO (formerly, Young Electric Sign Company), established in 1920, is based in Salt Lake City and operates throughout the western United States. The Helena, MT, branch includes sales, manufacturing (including painting), installation and service.

   

Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Accidents; Fatalities; Health and safety; OSHA; Paint and coatings removal

Comment from Louis Hickman, (5/17/2011, 11:58 AM)

Nelson's conclusion about operator error seems a bit premature. What does he know about blasting and various pieces of equipment?


Comment from George McCormic, (5/18/2011, 7:29 AM)

Operator error may have been the cause. Note what happened. The filler cap disloged.Quite possibly the operator did not precheck his equipment prior to use on the other hand the filler cap may have been faulty which may have been discovered during the per-operational check.Sorry for his death.


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