Thursday, April 22, 2010


I must admit to harboring a personal fear of this particular type of accident. I grew up on a farm and also spent some years in a factory, working daily around heavy industrial machines. There were always horror stories circulating, most involved an article of clothing becoming stuck in a mechanized part and dragging a person towards inevitable mutilation or death. Accidents involving mechanical equipment happen fast, and machines--being, well, machines--are utterly unforgiving.

Accidental Ligature Strangulation by an Ironing
Machine: An Unusual Case
(Full PDF Journal article)
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a case of a 53-year-old woman who had her headscarf catch on the cylinder ironing machine in the laundry of the hospital where she worked. The hospital workers found the woman dead with her head stuck to the ironing machine. After the death scene investigation and autopsy were completed, it was determined that the death occurred as a result of accidental ligature strangulation. Accidental ligature strangulation in which an article of clothing is caught in such an electrical machine and strangles the wearer is very rare. This case highlights the fact that these kinds of machines can be hazardous to work around and that increased safety measures should be taken to insure worker safety; additionally, the people who use these machines should be educated on the potential hazards.

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