Millwright injured when parts cabinet topples forward

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What happened?

A millwright at a sawmill was retrieving parts from a storage cabinet and had several drawers open at once. The cabinet suddenly tipped forward, spilling all of the drawers onto the stockroom floor. The millwright suffered minor injuries.

Why did this happen?

The parts cabinet had been moved from one stockroom to another and had not been bolted down in the new stockroom. Because the cabinet contained a high combined weight of stored parts, having a number of drawers open at the same time unbalanced the weight load and caused the cabinet to tip forward, spilling the drawers onto the floor.

How can it be prevented?

Modular cabinets allow the storage of several hundred pounds of parts or equipment in a safe, versatile and compact space. But storing that much weight in a space that small can create hazards.

Modular storage cabinets must be anchored to the floor and wall in order to prevent them from tipping over. Opening only one drawer at a time also ensures the cabinet’s stability. After the incident, the cabinet was bolted down and a label was placed on the cabinet warning that only one drawer is to be opened at a time.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when installing modular storage systems. Parts, tools and other equipment should always be stored in the appropriate place and the storage areas should be kept clear of debris and other hazards.