Electrocution kills blow molding worker
FREMONT, OHIO - One employee was electrocuted and another injured June 18 at a blow molding plant of The Plastics Group Inc. in Fremont, authorities said.
The employees were changing a mold about 8:40 a.m. when a heater band fell and one of its wires pulled loose. The wire touched a piece of machinery or metal and electrocuted Matthew von Eitzen, 31, of Fremont, with 277 volts, said Fremont Fire Department Lt. Dean Schneider.
Another employee, Jeff Brake, 34, was taken by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Toledo. Local press reports said he was treated and released that day.
The Toledo Blade newspaper quoted another firefighter as saying that a metal platform the men were standing on became electrified.
The plant was shut down and the company, based in Willowbrook, Ill., said it was providing grief counselors. The company statement said it was cooperating with investigators.
Jimdi buys presses with tax abatement
ALLENDALE, MICH. - Jimdi Plastics Inc., a custom injection molder in Allendale, recently bought three presses with funds it received in a tax abatement.
The six-year, $142,000 abatement was approved by the Allendale Township Board.
``We're trying to keep ahead of the game,'' Jay DeWitt, vice president of operations, said in a telephone interview.
Jimdi purchased three used Van Dorn presses with clamping forces of 120, 320 and 700 tons. The two smaller-tonnage machines have Pathfinder 2500 controls and the 700-ton model has Pathfinder 3000 controls.
One of the company's older presses is being replaced, so Jimdi is moving from 10-12 total injection presses. Jimdi also bought some auxiliary equipment, and said it may add central vacuum loading.
The company operates a 26,500-square-foot plant and office that opened in 2001. It employs 32 and plans to hire more. Jimdi molds products for the appliance, furniture, agricultural and building-supply markets.
Plastic Forming employee electrocuted
MASSILLON, OHIO - An employee of blow molder Plastic Forming Co. Inc. was apparently electrocuted at the company's Massillon facility June 23.
Details are sketchy but it appears, based on a preliminary autopsy, that Victor Valentine, 45, of Massillon, was electrocuted, according to P.S.S. Murthy, chief deputy coroner for Stark County. Murthy said it is not clear how it happened.
PFC, which is based in Woodbridge, Conn., said it is bringing in crisis counselors to the plant. The company said it is cooperating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other government agencies.
``We are all grieving Victor Valentine's death,'' President John Womer said in a June 24 statement. ``It is too soon to know exactly what happened or why - none of his co-workers witnessed the accident.''
PFC blow molds plastic cases and makes foam inserts and thermoforms inserts and trays.
Wagner selling off assets in shutdown
CLINTON, MASS. - After 32 years in business, Wagner Plastics Inc., an injection molder and blow molder of toys and bottles, will close its doors June 30.
The company is auctioning off its machinery and 40 ``Sure Hit'' trademarked molds. The June 30 auction is being conducted on-site by Aaron Posnik & Co. of Springfield, Mass. Wagner's building in Clinton also is for sale.
The company ceased production about two weeks ago, according to Carol O'Loughlin, administration manager. She said that site currently is staffed by a skeleton crew.
Wagner made toys for such companies as McDonald's, Safety First and Franklin Sports. However, business has declined the past few years, she said.
The business is owned by Nicholas Wagner III, who is retiring.
According to the auction notice, Wagner is selling four injection presses, 10 blow molding machines, grinders, chillers and a tower. The Sure Hit molds are for baseballs, softballs, a fat bat, footballs, banks and a variety of bottles.