Congressmen Seeks Cintas Investigation

Tuesday, March 13th 2007, 9:34 am

By: News On 6

A member of congress calls for a wider investigation into Cintas after a deadly industrial accident in Tulsa. A man was killed in a commercial dryer one week ago at the Cintas plant. How it happened, exactly, has not yet been made public. The News On Six’s Emory Bryan reports Cintas claims their plants overall have a better safety record than other laundry firms, but Congress is pressuring OSHA to look deeper into the company's safety record.

The accident took place around 9:30 a.m. killing 46-year-old Eleazar Torres-Gomez ,who had worked at the company for 10 years. He was working around a conveyor system that moves laundry between a commerical size washer and dryer. He was found dead in the dryer after another worker noticed it making an unusual noise. No one saw what happened or realized he was missing until his body was found after the dryer had been running for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.

The medical examiner report shows Torres-Gomez died of blunt force trauma and thermal injuries, and the manner of death was accidental. The government investigation is continuing, but could take several months. OSHA says it's been to the plant but has made no determination on what happened or whether the company violated any safety standards. Cintas supplies and launders uniforms and the plant is back in production.

A member of Congress, Lynn Woolsey, of California, wants the government to investigate not just what happened in Tulsa, but to inspect other Cintas plants to see if dangers exist there.

A labor union claims that Cintas ,a non-union company, had been warned about the dangers of using partially automated dryers, which usually have safety barriers to prevent someone from being pulled in.

The fire department speculated the worker was somehow caught by a conveyor and pulled in, but that's still under investigation by OSHA.

To read the news release and the letter from the congressmen, click here.

For more background on this story, click on the links below to read additional stories about the Cintas plant accident in Tulsa.

3/6/2007 - Worker Killed In Freak Accident

3/7/2007 - Unions Critical Of A Tulsa Plant

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