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Vestal National Pipe Death Investigated By OSHA

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Federal investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of a man at the National Pipe and Plastics factory in Vestal.

Police said a truck driver died after he was hit by a forklift at the Vestal Road plant late Friday afternoon.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the incident by National Pipe and Plastics.

OSHA area director Chris Adams told WNBF News the agency sent an inspector from Syracuse to visit the site last Friday.

Adams said a fatality investigation typically involves interviews with witnesses and an examination of company records. Various items, including training records, may be reviewed.

OSHA has up to six months to complete an investigation. Adams said a report on the Vestal case could be completed in three or four months.

OSHA records indicate National Pipe and Plastics was cited for several “serious” violations following site inspections over the past decade.

The company has paid penalties for a series of health and safety violations. In every instance listed on the OSHA website, initial penalties were reduced as a result of “informal settlements.”

Although National Pipe’s Vestal facility was inspected multiple times between 2003 and 2007, OSHA records indicate it’s been more than six years since the last inspection.

Adams said that’s not “unusual” given the number of work sites in New York. He said inspections are made based on a range of factors, including whether the agency has received complaints regarding specific facilities.

National Pipe and Plastics is planning to move its manufacturing operation from Vestal to West Endicott.

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