WICHITA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation after receiving a report that a male employee of Fuller Industries LLC was killed on the job Thursday afternoon, according to a news release from the agency.
The victim has been identified by authorities as Gary Buskirk, 67, of Great Bend.
Preliminary information indicates the plastics manager suffered fatal injuries after being caught in a molding machine at the Great Bend facility,OSHA reported Friday morning.
According to Wichita-based OSHA spokeswoman Rhonda Burke, investigations are standard procedure in the event of a fatal accident. A company has eight hours to report a work-related death, which Fuller did in this instance.
Now. OSHA has up to six months to complete its probe. Investigators will be in the plant looking for any safety issues that may have contributed to the accident, Burke said.
At about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, officers from the Great Bend Police Department and Great Bend Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the plant in reference to an employee that was injured, Police Chief Cliff Couch said. Upon arrival, responding personnel found that the man was deceased, apparently as the result of a head trauma.
Although the investigation is still in its preliminary stages, Couch said the death appears to be the result of an accident, and police have no reason to suspect foul play. A thorough investigation is currently being conducted.
“This is obviously a great loss to our community,” Couch said. “Today, a lot of people in Great Bend lost a friend or family member. I hope that the community will join me in keeping these friends and family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Fuller officials said they would be releasing a statement Friday.
Should an accident result in a serious injury such as an amputation, a company has up to 24 hours to file a report with OSHA, Burke said.
For more information, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742, or the agency’s Wichita Area Office at 316-269-6644, or visit osha.gov.
Fuller Industries, formerly known as Fuller Brush, is a manufacturer of commercial cleaning supplies, custom brushes and private-label chemicals. It operates a 600,000-square-foot plant at the intersection of West Barton County Road and SW 40 Avenue.
The company dates back to 1906.