Timothy Freihammer died at a hospital in Charlotte after he was crushed in a machine at Metromont Materials about 8 p.m. Saturday. Freihammer worked as a supervisor at the company.
A preliminary investigation shows Freihammer was working in an area where cement blocks are made. His head somehow got in a machine while it was running. The coroner said it appears Freihammer got into the machine before a required safety check was performed.
"It could be either he did it while the machine was running, or someone engaged the machine and didn't know he was there," said York County Coroner Doug McKown. "That's what we're trying to figure out."
McKown said his office is working to determine who was at fault and added that Metromont officials have been "very cooperative" in helping investigators.
The S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is investigating to determine whether a safety violation contributed to the accident, agency spokeswoman Lesia Kudelka said.
State records show the Rock Hill plant has had one other serious accident in the last ten years. In that case, a 26-year-old man's leg was crushed in a piece of equipment in February 1998. The man's leg was amputated below the knee, records show.
State officials found Metromont failed to put proper safety guards on equipment. The company settled on a $1,800 fine, according to records.