Hysco America worker injured in press mishap

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2006

A Georgiana man was injured when his arm was trapped between a set of heavy rollers at Hysco America Co. last Thursday night, according to Greenville police reports.

Police said Sylvester Dixon, 33, was attempting to remove parts from a moving machine when rollers snagged his hand and he was pulled up to his elbow. Paramedics and Greenville police were called to the scene and the machinery had to be disassembled in order to remove Dixon.

He was then transported to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital for treatment.

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The report states that Dixon was pinned in the machinery from approximately 7:28 p.m. until 7:51 p.m.

Reached by phone on Monday, Dixon said he and several employees were attempting to remove some metal from one of the 400-ton presses when the machine pulled him into it. Hysco America processes steel sheeting for use at the Hyundai plant in Hope Hull.

&#8220When it grabbed me I started yelling for them to cut it off and they did,” he said.

Dixon said the bones in his forearm were crushed and the muscle tissue suffered extensive damage. Orthopedic surgeons in Montgomery had to operate on his arm to relieve some of the built-up pressure caused by the injury.

&#8220I'm not going to be able to use it (his arm) for awhile,” he said. &#8220I'm just trying to get healed right now.”

Dixon said he started working at Hysco three weeks ago and he was still being trained on how to operate the machinery. He said he wants to rejoin Hysco as soon as he's able.

&#8220It's a good job. I have a family to support,” he said. &#8220I don't blame anyone. It was an accident.”

A worker at the scene of the accident told police it was &#8220common practice to go into the machine without lockout or tagout procedures being followed.”

According to OSHA, &#8220Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected amortization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.

This is the third industrial accident at a Greenville-based Hyundai supplier in less than two months.

On Feb. 28, Michael Mitchell died at Hwashin America Co. when he was pinned between a steel roller. The next week, Brandon Ball suffered a head injury that left him in a coma, but he later recovered. Ball was also employed by Hwashin.

Jeff Funke, Assistant Area Director of OSHA's office in Mobile, said the on-site investigation into the initial two accidents at Hwashin had concluded, but that the case was still under review.

Pending further information, said Funke, OSHA may start an investigation into Thursday's accident at Hysco.