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United States

LM factory partly closed after employee death

US: LM Wind Power has partially shut down its manufacturing facility in North Dakota after the death of one of its workers on the factory floor.

The company has confirmed that Joseph Schaff, an employee at the Grand Forks facility, was fatally injured during a maintenance procedure.

Tom Deutscher, director of the Bismarck area office of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), said that LM told him Schaff was crushed between a scissor lift and an overhead crane.

Deutscher said OSHA will begin an investigation immediately. He said LM had shut down at least part of the factory to prepare for OSHA’s investigation.

OSHA has previously found 13 violations at LM’s North Dakota factory and one at its Little Rock, Arkansas facility.

The agency also has an open case to investigate a possible violation at the Arkansas factory.

Most of the violations related to dust and respiratory protection, and Deutscher said: "None of these [violations] are surprising to me. It’s a big fibreglass business, there’s a lot of dust created." He said LM had been "very cooperative" in its response to past violations.

An LM spokesperson said: "[Schaff] was attended to immediately at the scene of the incident by staff and urgently by emergency services, but later passed away in hospital.

"His family has been informed, the company has expressed its condolences regarding this tragic loss and is caring for the people affected."

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