OSHA investigates fatal greenhouse scalding
Inspectors interviewed about ten employees, and the company is cooperating. "We have nothing to hide," said one official.
Two workers at the giant indoor greenhouse suffered scalding burns when a valve on the company's hot water heating system either broke or burst. Both men worked in maintenance at the company and were doing routine work on the system when they were sprayed with 200-degree water. The temperatures in sections of the 53-acre enclosed bedding plant facility are regulated through a boiler system.
The other worker has since returned to his job.
An internal company investigation also is ongoing to determine exactly what happened. "We never want this to happen again," said the official.
"We were deeply saddened, and of course we miss him," said the official. "He was getting better. He was supposed to wake up last week."
The victim was conscious and alert following the scalding but later was put into a medically induced coma to allow his body to heal.
The employee's death touched coworkers personally. "Originally he lived next door to my grandpa," said one worker. "I've known him my whole life. He was a good family friend.
"The tough thing is now that life goes on, and we have to move forward."