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State: Death of worker at Procter & Gamble facility in Greensboro results in fines

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GREENSBORO — The N.C. Department of Labor has cited Procter & Gamble with three serious safety violations in an accident that resulted in the death of a worker.

Montrell Rudd, 49, died after a May 6 accident at the company’s facility at 6200 Bryan Park Drive. The Labor Department’s investigation found that a stainless-steel tote filled with clear gel fell from a forklift onto Rudd and crushed him, according to the citations. The tote weighed more than 3,200 pounds. It was lifted over the guardrail of the plant’s upper mezzanine so the gel could be transferred into an oil pod. The tote was not secured to the forklift and was loaded on the end of the tines, according to one citation.

The Labor Department assessed a penalty of $34,502 against P&G for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.

Among its findings, the Labor Department cited the following:

  • Loads on a powered industrial truck were not stable or safely arranged.
  • Trucks were driven up to people standing in front of a bench or other fixed object.
  • Extreme care was not used when lifting a load forward or backward. An elevated load was found to be tilted forward even when it was not in a deposit position over a rack or stack.

Procter & Gamble did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The maximum penalty for each “serious” violation is $14,502, the Labor Department said. Under state statutes, the department has to take into consideration various factors such as the gravity of the violation, size of the business, employer’s cooperation and history of previous violations.

By law, the penalties collected by the N.C. Department of Labor go into the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund, which then distributes the money to the public school system.

P&G has 15 working days from receipt of the citations — which are dated Nov. 2 — to request an informal conference with the Labor Department, file a notice with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission of North Carolina (an independent board appointed by the governor to hear appeals of citations) or to pay the penalty.

Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 336-373-7082.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in the early 1970s.

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