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Accident at North Carolina mill kills worker

A 54-year-old man working at a lumber mill in Greenville died after a forklift accident on August 4. Company officials closed the mill after the accident, and it remained closed more than a day after the incident. According to the news source, the mill employs 184 people.

The accident occurred when the forklift overturned, critically injuring the victim. A spokesperson for the company said the man had worked there for over seven years as a machine operator. The news source did not specify whether or not he was driving the forklift.

According to the company representative, both OSHA and an internal investigation team were looking into the incident, and that process was prolonging the plant's closure. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSH), a division of the North Carolina Department of Labor, was investigating the accident. A representative of that organization said that it could take up to four months to complete the investigation. That spokesperson went on to say that OSH would be reviewing if travel paths were designated for forklifts, if the workers operating them were authorized and the speeds at which those vehicles were normally operated.

According to federal labor statistics, the mill received four serious violations in its last safety inspection in 2009. A year earlier, state inspectors cited the mill for four serious safety violations.

Workers' compensation benefits can be paid to the families of employees who are killed on the job. A lawyer experienced with those claims could ensure that the necessary paperwork for such benefits was filed on time and in full. Additionally, an attorney could aid family members of a fatal accident victim with appealing a denied claim.

Source: WITN, "Worker killed at Pitt County Weyerhaeuser plant identified," August 7, 2014

Source: Elkin Tribune, "Weyerheauser plant closed after death", Anthony Gonzalez, August 06, 2014

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