An employee of Ward Lumber died in an on-the-job accident. New York State Police believe the man was killed by a board at the Adirondack lumber mill where he worked.
Lance Sawyer III, 22, had been operating a board edger at Ward Lumber in Jay, New York, when the board shot back and struck him across the chest, reported Lake Placid News (4.9.15).
AuSable Forks Ambulance Service responded to the mill after a report of an unconscious man who was not breathing. Sawyer was taken to the University of Vermont Health Network in Plattsburgh where he was pronounced dead.
The accident was under investigation by State police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The wood products industry is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In a lumber mill there can be machines that process the logs by stripping away the bark, round saws to cut them in half and sawmills to break them into squares. According to OSHA, these machines can be hazardous, particularly if they are used improperly or without the correct safeguards.
All workers in the U.S. have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. Company violations of this law may include failure to maintain its equipment and premises in a safe manner, failure to provide effective safeguards, failure to set appropriate safety guidelines to prevent accidents, and the hiring and retaining of employees unable to create and maintain a safe working environment.