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Loose Clothing Kills

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Merced Sun-Star - February 5, 2009

DOS PALOS -- A 20-year-old Dos Palos man died Wednesday after he was crushed by an industrial post-hole digger.

Martin Valencia was working on a farm around 11 a.m. in the 6300 block of Eucalyptus Avenue, near Dos Palos. Valencia and another man, who was operating the tractor, were digging holes. A spinning bolt on the drill caught his jacket and pulled him toward the shaft and into the hole. The machine crushed his body before it could be turned off. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This tragic death shows us again, the importance of not wearing loose clothing around moving equipment. We have a hard enough time keeping track of the position of our body parts such as hands and arms when we are doing a task. Our clothing has no nerves and we are unable to "sense" where or when it gets in the danger zone.

The only approach to take is one of being proactive. You must ensure ahead of time that you aren't wearing loose clothing. Ensure your shirt tail is tucked in, your sleeves are rolled up tightly or buttoned down, your jacket is zipped up and the end of your belt isn't flapping around.

Take a look this morning and ensure you are indeed "ready to work".


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