The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the June 23 death of a worker in the blow molding department of Igloo Products Corp.'s plant in Katy, Texas.
``To the best of our knowledge, it is the first fatal accident'' in the company's 59-year history, said Nicole Fiori, general counsel for Igloo Products. Fiori said the worker had 10 years of experience. The blow molding department makes cooler parts.
Fiori would not comment further on the investigation. But Houston-based television station KPRC's Local 2 affiliate in Katy reported that an unidentified maintenance worker was crushed while fixing a machine.
OSHA spokeswoman Elizabeth Todd, in the agency's Dallas office, said its investigation could take two to six months. A source at Igloo said the company hopes to complete its own investigation in the next couple of weeks.
``Out of respect for the family, it is important to let an investigation get completed so everyone can be confident in the results,'' Fiori said. ``Our first thoughts are with the family and we are making sure they are being taken care of.''
Igloo manufactures ice chests and coolers. It is owned by Westar Capital LLC, a Costa Mesa, Calif., investment firm.
Igloo consolidated its headquarters, manufacturing and distribution in Katy in October 2004, opening a new, 805,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility and corporate offices to complement 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution already at the site. The incident occurred in the newer plant.
In Katy, Igloo operates more than 100 blow molding, injection molding and vacuum forming machines and has about 20 assembly areas. The site employs more than 1,200.