A machine operator was killed June 28 at Continental Structural Plastics Inc.'s plant in Springhill, when a compression molding press came down and struck her in the head.
Colota Gates, 27, was loading material into the press on her night-shift job, the company said.
``This is a terrible tragedy for our employee and her family, as well as her co-workers and the entire CSP family,'' said Thomas Hilborn, vice president, reading a statement prepared by the firm.
Hilborn said the accident is under investigation both by the company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
CSP, based in Bingham Falls, Mich., compression molds plastic parts for the auto industry as well as industrial products, including air conditioner base pans.
Hilborn disputed local press coverage that said there were problems with the machine that killed Gates, saying the reports are ``absolutely not true.''
``The sheriff's department, with assistance of CSP, performed an investigation of the machine shortly after the accident,'' he said. ``The investigation showed that the press and all of its safety devices were working properly. There have been reports in the press that the press cycled on its own in the past. This is absolutely not true, and there are no records or reports of any malfunction like that on this, or any of the presses in our plant, since they were commissioned by the manufacturer of the presses and put into production in early 2002. These are modern presses.''
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton could not be reached for this story. An OSHA spokesman in Louisiana confirmed OSHA is investigating the death.