OSHA continues to investigate fatal accident at Hwashin

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 6, 2006

OSHA officials are continuing their investigation into the death of a Georgiana man on Tuesday night at Greenville's Hwashin America plant.

Michael Mitchell, 29, was killed during an on-site accident after being pinned between a steel roller and other material, according to initial reports.

Jeff Funke, Assistant Area Director of OSHA's Mobile office, said he could not comment on the actual details of the accident since the investigation is still on going. He confirmed that two OSHA investigators - a safety specialist and industrial hygienist - were currently at Hwashin and conducting preliminary interviews with corporate administration and employees to determine the cause of the accident.

Funke said he was unsure as to how long the investigation would take.

&#8220I can tell you that once OSHA initiates an investigation we have a window of six months to complete it,” he said. &#8220Once the case is closed, the results of our findings can be released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Funke also said Hwashin met all criteria specified by OSHA for reporting an occupational fatalities. The U.S. Department of Labor requires that employers orally report the death of an employee within eight hours to OSHA. The accident that killed Mitchell happened between approximately 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Mitchell was transported to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital following the accident where he was pronounced dead, according to Greenville Police Department spokesperson Lt. Anthony Barganier.

A call made to Hwashin for comment was not returned.

Hwashin is a Tier 1 supplier for the Hyundai automotive plant in Hope Hull.