Horrible AND fascinating catastrophic workplace accident videos

Oh yeah. Years ago I knew a guy who had his big toe sown onto his hand where his thumb had been. It didn’t work great, but it worked better than nothing.

He was an avid wooodworker until one day he guided his thumb through the blade path of his table saw. The blade was right where it always was, doing exactly what it always did. The workpiece was ordinary, the fence was where it belonged. All that was different this time was his mind wasn’t 100% on the job and for some reason his holding hand wasn’t in the usual spot.

Absence of mind can work fine for years. Until it doesn’t.

In 2018, an Indian medical technician died after being sucked into an 1.5 Tesla MRI machine. What a sad and horrific way to go. Incidentally this was a repeat of another instance in 2014; however I believe that man lived.

This YouTuber posted a video in which he deliberately demonstrated a tablesaw kickback event. He was fully aware and expecting it, and it still almost ate his fingers:

I bought a SawStop tablesaw several years ago. Not because of this video, but because of another friend who had a tablesaw injury despite being a generally safety-conscious fellow. SawStop’s blade brake isn’t a substitute for vigilance, and it won’t save me from every conceivable catastrophe, but I’ll take whatever advantage I can get.

I was told a story of an incident emergency response exercise at a refinery.
Someone was laying in the ground as part of the exercise, another person saw them and ran up to them, and the exercise referee said’ you join him laying on the ground’, a minute later someone else comes past and see two people on the ground so runs up to check them out , referee says ’ you join him on the ground’.
The story goes by the end there was a sizable number of people lying on the ground giggling at their own stupidity. Before rushing to help someone, make sure you wont join them.

Sawstop didn’t exist back then but I wouldn’t use a table saw without one now.

Not being a woodworker that’s not a big limitation on my day to day life.

Given that aluminum is very reactive when not protected by an oxidized film, I’m amazed that they can pour it in liquid form without using inert atmosphere.

That’s easier said than done, especially for the first to respond. Someone who has been overcome by toxic gas/displaced air or has suffered a serious electrical shock looks the same as a heart attack victim. Sure, two people laying there should make you think twice, especially with the exercise ref standing around.

Agree , it’s tough to over come our base emotional response to rush in and help, I guess the purpose of the exercise was to make that point.

Where I work, we’re taught to make an announcement over the intercom if we encounter an accident situation, then to immediately return to our work area (unless we’ve been trained as official company “first responders”). I’m sure that’s more for legal/liability reasons than anything else, but it does serve the purpose of preventing extra victims.


I’ve got a friend who worked for years in the Sunnyside rail yards in New York City. He’s now retired, unhurt. But a lot of the work in rail yards can be really dangerous.

I remember him telling me that basically there were two groups of workers who got hurt or killed. New workers who hadn’t properly learned all the safety procedures yet, and long-time workers who got complacent, thought they knew better than the manual, took shortcuts, or just kind of went on auto-pilot because they’d performed the same tasks over and over again for ten or twenty years.

There’s a reason why I have a machine shop in my basement and not a wood shop.
Woodworking machinery scares me. It’s all super noisy and a split second away from ripping off a limb.

At least with metalworking tools the part is usually clamped down and you manipulate handwheels on the machine. Sure, there are ways to hurt oneself on a metal lathe, but woodworking tools seem so much more angry.

Unless the nature of the medical emergency is such that prompt first aid could have saved the deceased and now the company’s policy is the cause of the liability exposure.

Bonus: unspoken policy is that the injured person is to be transported to the hospital in a private vehicle. This once resulted in a manager with a back injury (he had slipped on some ice at home that morning) being wheeled out the front door in a conference room chair and hoisted into a waiting pickup truck.

An employee who had been electrocuted was also driven to the hospital by a manager. He must have gotten a damn good lawyer, because unlike other accidents that are continually brought up in safety meetings (“Does everyone remember that time Valerie left the file cabinet open and Sally tripped on it? Sally wasn’t paying attention!”), his accident is never mentioned.

On YouTube:

Part 1

Part 2

You don’t want Part 3 in your brain. Let’s just say the cleanup involved a pressure washer and a shop vac.

Can you at least say what the videos are of? I’m not going click on a video link without knowing ahead of time in this thread.

From the comments it appears to be a factory worker pulled into some rotating machinery where the machinery does some combo of shredding and peeling him. It requires a YouTube sign-in to watch & I don’t sign in to YT ever.

Given the title of the thread, I didn’t think I really needed to be too explicit.

If the title was “Horrible AND fascinating NON-Catastrophic workplace accident videos,” I could see where some warning, preface, or explanation was in order, or that they might even be inappropriate subject material for this thread.

I see and share a lot of those types of videos on a FB group (industrial maintenance), so didn’t really think much of it, given the thread title.

You could have said “guy gets sucked into machine”. I knew I wasn’t going to watch it, but at least I’d know what type of accident it was.

Thanks! As I posted earlier in the thread, I know someone whose first husband died after getting caught in a veneering machine. He survived long enough to reach the hospital.

I’m a safety professional and I’m morbidly attracted to the videos and pics too… The reason we have OSHA standards is because more than one person died performing a hazardous job. You can go to the OSHA web page and see how many Americans die in workplace accidents every year. You can also go to the US Chemical Safety Board website. They don’t have actual accident videos but they recreate the story using computer graphic videos. Best videos ever, great descriptions. Most industrialized nations have OSHA-level standards. China, India, Chile, have occ safety standards that are still rudimentary. One of the worst fatalities I heard was in US. There was an explosion that caused a steam pipe to basically break open. 3 guys ran towards the elevator but were burned by steam before they could escape.