In an unfortunate turn of events, at 12:55 p.m. on Friday, October 5th, 2012, an accident on the grounds of Internation Paper, a paper mill located in Virginia claimed the life of Jimmy Denny of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
The arriving emergency personal arriving at the scene were as first informed that the victim was either caught in a crane or had a crane fall on him. The victim was said to be bleeding badly and seriously injured. It was later noted that Denny had been hit by an overhead crane, causing his ultimately fatal injuries.
After the on-site accident, Denny, a contracted employee, was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. After arriving he was pronounced deceased. The Medical Examiner’s Office did not have a cause of death as of several days after Denny’s death. A pending investigation should help shed more light on the matter.
Jimmy Denny worked as an employee for Tak investments, as reported by the communications manager for International Paper, Julie Brennan. Tak investments had leased some office space, a warehouse for sheeting, a facility for recycled fiber, along with a paper machine from IP earlier in the year.
The goal of the refurbished paper mill acquired by Tak Investments was to recycle waste paper for conversion into napkins and paper towels. The plants’ fiber recycling location, ST Tissue, was already fully operational. The acquired paper machine’s use was set to initiate in October.
Brennan also stated that the Department of Labor and Industry in Richmond would be looking int whether or not occupational safety regulations, as well as health regulations, were followed at the site of the accident. (https://www.rrspin.com/archives/item/3390-paper-virginia-department-probes-mill-death.html)
Don Robertson, who is the spokesman for Isle of Wight County spoke to this horrific incident to announce that there had been an accident involving Denny and a crane. The incident is believed to be soon investigated and Robertson stated that in situations like this OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) usually gets involved.
Sahil Tak, acting vice president of ST Tissue said days after the accident that the company may issue a statement on the matter, however, the statement had not been made at that time.
In a follow-up to the initial accident reporting, the investigation conducted into the death of the 38-year-old victim deemed the death an accident, however, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry issues citations to two different companies. One was to ST Tissue of Franklin, VA, who was hit with a $32,100 state penalty, and CR Meyer & Son of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, another fine of $70,000. These citations are based on investigative findings that the crane operator at the mill could not see where the crane was going, more specifically where the crane trolly was moving. The crane operator was also not properly trained in the crane’s operation. Additionally, the emergency stop button was deemed as not being in working order at the time of the accident.
The case remained open as the companies are contesting the citations as those imply negligence on behalf of the two companies cited. The citations revealed that Denny was unbolting a support beam on top of a machine for drying paper, when he was struck by an overhead gantry crane, and ended up being caught between the crane and a column which he was working in proximity to.
As the invents of the investigation unfold, Jimmy Denny is mourned by relatives. It is not clear what the employer plans to do with regards to Denny’s death as far as support and assistance for family and loved ones is concerned.
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