A man is dead after being struck by a tractor-trailer truck at a flexible packaging plant in Findlay, Ohio.
Andrew T. Hohman, 41, an employee of Valfilm North America Inc. and a Findlay resident, was working on a locking mechanism for a loading dock at the facility when he was struck and killed by truck as it backed up, Findlay police said.
William L. Saunders, the tractor-trailer truck driver from Risingsun, Ohio, police said, could not see Holman as he backed into the docking space. The victim was pinned between the truck and the dock and suffered head injuries.
Attempts to save Hohman by Valfilm workers and Findlay Fire Department workers were unsuccessful and he died at the scene, police said.
Hohman was apparently sitting on the ground facing the dock while working with tools on the mechanism. The driver had a green light to back into the dock, but could not see the victim. There was noise from a nearby machine and an idling truck in an adjacent bay.
"It is my opinion that due to the above mentioned circumstances [Saunders] had very little opportunity if any to see [Hohman] working and [Hohman] had very little if any opportunity to hear [Saunders'] truck approaching his location," the responding police said in its report. "I am unable to determine any type of negligence occurred on [Saunders'] behalf."
The driver only noticed the victim after he got out of his vehicle and walked to the back of the truck, police said.
Hohman's survivors include one daughter, according to his obituary.
Valfilm also recently was fined $19,956 for safety violations regarding the partial amputation of three fingers on an employee's hand, according to The Courier newspaper in Findlay.
The company did not ensure a machine was adequately guarded in that incident. Following the accident, the company also did not perform a post-exposure evaluation with another employee exposed to blood-borne hazards from the accident. That second employee recovered three partial fingers from the machine, the newspaper reported.
It was just last year that officials from Brazil-based Valgroup Packaging Solutions revealed plans to expand the Findlay facility by 40,000 square feet.
Hohman, after reading about the expansion in Plastics News, commented on the newspaper's website.
"Totally awesome news to be blessed with such a great company," he wrote.